DURANGO, Colo. -- The CSU-Pueblo men’s soccer team knew that traveling to Durango and facing the third-ranked Fort Lewis Skyhawks would not be easy. The men unfortunately had their suspicions confirmed on Friday, as they dropped a comprehensive 2-0 decision in the semifinal round of the RMAC tournament.
Coach Roy Stanley said he took his squad to Durango intent on playing solid attacking soccer, but Fort Lewis stymied the ThunderWolves at almost every turn.
The Skyhawks outshot the Pack 12 to two in the first half, and Stanley said that his team was closed down and choked off virtually all game. “They did a great job of defending. We didn’t play as quick as we needed to, but we didn’t have a bad game,” he said.
Fort Lewis scored in the 26th and 33rd minutes, and the two goal advantage proved to be insurmountable. In the second half, the Skyhawks dropped as many as eight players at a time into their half of the field in an effort to stave off any sort of attacking play by CSU-Pueblo.
Stanley credited the opposing team’s play more than once, and said that both of their goals were well earned. One Skyhawk goal came off a good cross into the box, and the other score resulted from a free kick that was headed in.
Ultimately, the Skyhawks’ solid defense was too much for the ThunderWolves to overcome. “We put up a good, physical effort, but our technical sharpness in terms of completing passes was lacking,” Stanley said.
“They respect us more than they did a month ago, but ultimately, they were the better team,” he added.
The ThunderWolves still have an
outside shot at qualifying for the NCAA tournament, but the team
would have to be picked from the “super region,” and
despite the team being ranked 25th in the nation, the chances of
playing on this season are rather slim.