By Kevin Peterson
Colorado College women’s soccer opened up their short-lived spring season at the beginning of this month with two games at home. On Friday, March 6, the Tigers kicked off under the lights at Stewart Field against Denver University. Despite a promising start to the game, CC let the game slip out of their hands, and the Pioneers triumphed 5-1.
However, motivated by the disappointing loss and with a day of rest on Saturday, the Tigers looked like a completely different team in their performance on Sunday at home against the University of Northern Colorado.
Unique to the spring season, the games were played with three 30-minute periods as opposed to the two standard 45-minute halves.
Colorado College took on the Bears for the first time since their clash in the Colorado Cup in the fall of 2018, when the Tigers won 2-1. Feeling confident in the matchup, CC was determined to repeat their previous win over UNC and end the weekend on a positive note.
“In sports, as many of us know, the game doesn’t always go the way we want it to. But with a two-game weekend, it’s about making the necessary changes and putting our words into actions,” said Tayla Wheeler ’21.
The Tigers made a statement early in the first period as Abby Hubbard ’22 scored off a free kick from about 30 yards out. Colorado College seemed to have an energy in this game that they lacked against DU on Friday. Later in the first period the Bears tied the game, but even then, the Tigers remained motivated and unfazed by the goal.
During the second period, Wheeler scored a thundering header off a perfectly served corner from Riley Prillwitz ’21. The Tigers capitalized on their lead, controlling the game with dangerous attacking play and solid defending from the back line.
Colorado College closed out the game in the third period when Jenna Wilt ’21 played a perfect ball into the run of Jacqui Hand ’21, who finished with a well-placed shot into the upper corner after losing her defender. The game finished as the Tigers celebrated a 3-1 win over Northern Colorado to end the weekend.
“I think this weekend was a great opportunity for growth. Obviously, nobody enjoys getting beat on a Friday night season opener, but our response to get the win on Sunday was huge for us,” said Wheeler. “I thought we had really great moments of patience which allowed us to capitalize on our technical ability.”
These spring games allowed the CC women’s soccer program to prepare for their next season, but also gave winter starts such as Brinlee Collings ’23 a chance to step onto the field for the first time.
“My first two games at CC were exciting. I was pretty nervous going into it, but I absolutely loved it. Both games were super intense and competitive. I loved being able to play with the team and experience it on our home field,” said Collings.
As with all NCAA sports, the Tigers’ season has been cut short, but at least they left the field on a high note. The momentum from their most recent win will push them to keep training with the approaching fall season in mind.