Women’s soccer shuts out opponents in back-to-back performances

Paul Czarnecki 

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 UCCS Women’s Soccer beat the Metro State University Roadrunners 2-0 on Oct. 7 and followed up with a blowout 5-0 win against Black Hills State. Their overall record is now 10-2 for this season. 

     Against the Roadrunners, graduate student forward Bri Johnson scored a goal over the opposing keeper in the expiring minutes of the first half, and freshman forward Makayla Merlo netted a second-half longshot to help the UCCS women’s soccer team put the Roadrunners away. 

     The Mountain Lions recorded their fourth clean sheet of the year, backed by redshirt freshman keeper Emily VanGundy. VanGundy made five saves in her first full match of her career and has a perfect save percentage. 

     The match started with both teams getting chances on the opposing side, followed by missed shots and intercepted passes. It wasn’t until the 45th minute that Johnson rolled the game into action, scoring into the left corner of the goal, following a communication error made by the Roadrunners’ back line, causing the goalkeeper to stray away from her position and leave the net unguarded. 

     Going into the second half, the Mountain Lions controlled the ball for the opening minutes, eventually leading to Merlo creating her own space in the middle-right side of the box and driving the ball past the keeper for a 2-0 lead. 

     “[All I could think was] don’t miss, basically. Lean over the ball and don’t kick it over,” Merlo said. “I think we played well as a team. We pressed well together, and even towards the end of the game we held our composure.” 

     Johnson and Merlo scored their third and fourth goals of the season in the match, finding themselves tied for second and third on the Mountain Lions’ goal scoring list. 

The women’s soccer game on Oct. 7, photo by Megan Moen.

     “We played really well,” said forward Jadyn Ledoux. “I felt that we played really aggressive, and that’s what we talked about a lot. As a team, we did what we were supposed to do.”  

     Ledoux was one of four Mountain Lions to have a shot on goal in the match, along with redshirt freshman forward Makayla Merlo, redshirt senior forward Tori Maydew and graduate student midfielder Tarah Patterson, UCCS’ top goal scorer this season. 

     The match was momentarily halted around the 89th minute after a fight broke out between multiple members of both teams. Five red cards total were given to both UCCS and Metro State players.  

     This was the Mountain Lions’ fifth straight win against the Roadrunners, where they have outscored Metro State 15-2 during this streak, including three clean sheets and three home victories. 

     UCCS came out of the match with a 4-1 record against teams in the RMAC, giving them 12 total points, just trailing the 4-0-1 CSU Pueblo Thunderwolves for first place. 

     “We’re going to try to keep our heads, keep working together as a team and continue to push each other during practice,” Merlo said. 

     UCCS followed the match with a 5-0 victory against Black Hills State on Oct. 10, their largest shutout of the season. Five different players scored goals during the match, including Merlo and Patterson who both lead the team with five goals each this season.  

     The first half began with UCCS scoring one goal from redshirt sophomore defense Jade Kinsey, her first of her collegiate career. The second half included four more scores from four more Mountain Lions with the final goal occurring in the 71st minute, securing the UCCS victory.  

     The Mountain Lions will face off against the Colorado School of Mines on Sunday, Oct. 17 in Golden, a match where they look to bounce back after dropping three out of four previous matches against the school. 

The women’s soccer game on Oct. 7, photo by Megan Moen.