In front of record crowd at first ever night game, ThunderWolves down first ranked opponent in school history.
By Anthony Sandstrom, CSU-Pueblo Athletics
PUEBLO, Colo. (GoThunderWolves.com - Sept. 17, 2010) - Do you believe in miracles?
The CSU-Pueblo Women's Soccer team does.
On a magical night at the Rawlings Soccer Complex, the ThunderWolves established so many "firsts", it was almost tedious.
In the first ever night game in ThunderWolf women's soccer history, the Pack played in front of the largest crowd in program history at 400-plus, and scored the first win over a ranked opponent, No. 10 and undefeated Fort Lewis, in program history.
Behind an absolutely ridiculous performance by senior striker, Katie Thiebaut (Sr., Pueblo, Colo.), and a lights out defensive clinic put on the Pack's back three defenders and true freshman, Savannah Thompson (Fr., Upland, Calif.), the ThunderWolves routinely beat the Skyhawks to most balls throughout the night, and kept the ball in the middle of the field for the bulk of the game.
The game seemed destined to break for the ThunderWolves just 20 minutes in, when Thiebaut fired a nearly-perfect strike that fired off the post, officially introducing the idea of "upset" to the minds of the Pack players and its fans.
From that point, CSU-Pueblo meant business.
Just eight minutes later, Thiebaut got another chance, this time taking a deflection from Fort Lewis keeper, Christine Schmelzle, and firing it to the back of the net to lift the ThunderWolves to a 1-0 lead.
Fort Lewis, which entered the game with an impressive 4-0 resume to their credit, got plenty of chances and finally got one in as Taylor Tegtmeyer on an unassisted goal, firing a clean strike to the upper left corner of the net, to tie the game at one in the 35th minute.
But the Pack did its best to keep the ball on their attacking side of the field in the second half, trying to create chances for Thiebaut and the rest of the Pack's athletic forwards.
Just seven minutes in, Thiebaut got another chance, this time firing a floater in from just outside the goal box in the 52nd minute, giving the Pack the 2-1 lead it wouldn't relinquish.
"This was a team effort and they got me pumped up for [Friday's two-goal performance]," Thiebaut said. "They fed me the balls and I did my job and everything just fell tonight."
Pack coach Janet Cassidy said that Thiebaut's performance was the difference, and she made the big plays went it counted.
"She had a magical night," Cassidy said. "You can't teach the kinds of things she does. She's the most creative player I've ever coached - she recognizes situations and just reacts."
The ThunderWolves' transformation from a down-and-out team to start the season to one that could suddenly threaten for a national ranking following this win, was a labor of love, Cassidy said.
"We worked hard to get here and every day and every game, we've improved, and we proved we're a legit team tonight," Cassidy said. "It's like David and Goliath."
The Pack will try to keep their rise going after a five-day layoff when they travel to UC-Colorado Springs on Sept. 22 for a "Steel and Silver Series" showdown with the Mountain Lions. The Pack will try to take the first steps in wresting the "Steel and Silver Trophy" away from UCCS.