November 5, 2021 | SPORTS | By Jackson Tanner | Photo by Anil Jergens

As the sun went down over the Rockies on Friday, Oct. 29, the Colorado College men’s soccer team squared off against number three, the Trinity University Tigers. Colorado College is no stranger to beating ranked opponents, previously toppling number 10, St. Olaf College, and number 19, Gustavus Adolphus. 

This game was a chippy showdown between the two Tigers.

In preparation for the match, CC switched from a 3-5-2 to a 4-4-2. The new formation was initially successful; Colorado dominated possession and sent numerous crosses into the box. 

Sajji Singh ’23 broke through for CC with a goal scored from a cross by Alexander Ward ’24. Meanwhile, the defense gave few opportunities for Trinity’s formidable attack. When the ball did break through the backline, Kel Felton ’22 made several fearless saves that ignited the crowd gathered at Stewart Field. At halftime, CC and Trinity were tied 1-1. 

Throughout the second half, CC was able to produce dangerous shots, but none caught the net. Then, Trinity broke through in minute 71. The CC Tigers continued with their outstanding effort, but the Trinity Tigers received a stroke of luck when the referee controversially sent off Sajji Singh with a second yellow card. 

This booking drew anger from the rowdy CC fans. To them, Trinity’s goalkeeper had swiped at Sajji Singh’s legs after the whistle. With only 10 men on the pitch, Trinity could run out the clock without a normal level of pressure from CC. After the final whistle blew, the Trinity squad ran towards the Colorado crowd to taunt the fans that had been cheering against them.

The loss was devastating, but CC’s strong team culture kicked in, and they did not let the Trinity game affect them.

On Sunday, CC played their regular-season finale against Schreiner. In the cold rain, they could use their strong passing to their advantage, while Schreiner seemed to get nothing done offensively. The Tigers thrashed the Mountaineers on Senior Day, 6-0, led by star forward Kiran Singh ’22, who scored two goals and assisted two others. 

When asked to reflect on his time as a Tiger, Singh said, “This is definitely one of the coolest teams that I have ever been a part of, and I am super grateful that I got this opportunity.” 

He went on to speak about his brother, Sajji Singh. 

“I am super fortunate I got to play with him,” Singh said.  

Kiran Singh has produced countless spectacular moments for the Tigers since arriving at CC from Haverford. Although Kiran Singh has an actual brother on the team, he pointed out that the entire team is his family. 

“When you have that family feeling that we have… When you know that everyone is going to fight for each other, that makes a major difference on the field,” he said. “We are hard on each other because we expect so much from each other…It takes that family aspect to accept the criticism.” 

This week, the CC Tigers enter the SCAC Tournament Playoffs. Their first game is a rematch with none other than the Trinity Tigers. 

When asked about the morale in the locker room, both Atticus Lynch ’23 and Kiran Singh stated that they felt “in control.” Both agreed that they had Trinity on the ropes. 

“We have the right mentality. We play the way we want to play,” Lynch said. “We’ve just got to do it for 90 minutes and put the ball in the net.” 

In a similar tone, Kiran Singh expressed that the CC Tigers need to stay disciplined and not worry about the refs. He also gave the first years high praise. 

“Those guys have been nothing short of incredible. College soccer is a lot faster, and you are playing against grown men. Every single one of the freshmen has stepped up,” he said. 

Even though the CC Tigers are inexperienced (the first years outnumbering the upperclassmen), they have only grown stronger in the team’s final games. 

“In practice, everyone brings their A-game. We are really competitive. Our team is committed to winning,” Singh said. 

The team’s high standards explain why they are not worried about their next game. They know they have a shot.

Near the end of the game against Trinity, all of the Trinity defenders and midfielders were bent over, gasping for air. At the same time, the CC players who had run just as hard stayed composed, hungry for the ball. 

No matter what formation or weather conditions, CC has next week’s game within grasp. They just need to capitalize.

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