Nov. 9, 2015
It is Colorado, but it was still a surprise when the first week of November was marked with 75 degree highs. But winter came knocking Nov. 4, when the women’s soccer team took on New Mexico Highlands in the first round of the RMAC tournament at Mountain Lion Stadium.
The wind was relentless, pulling at jackets and nipping at noses, but that didn’t keep fans from seeing the first playoff win in school history.
UCCS won 2-0 over Highlands, with goals from sophomore Dana Shellhorn in the 40th minute and sophomore Bailee Jameson in the 79th. It was also senior goalkeeper Brandi Arsenault’s sixth shutout of the season.
The team took on Fort Lewis in the RMAC tournament semifinals Nov. 6, falling 2-1. Results were not available at press time.
Winning the RMAC tournament guarantees a berth in the national tournament. If the Mountain Lions do not win the RMAC, they must be in the top six of the regional ranking to advance to the national tournament. In the last South Central Region ranking of the season, the Mountain Lions were tenth.
The Mountain Lions finished last season with a 6-11 record, missing the RMAC tournament.
“This year compared to last year we play so much more as a team,” said sophomore Grace Ramsden “We have come together and have won the games we were supposed to.”
“We are more solid overall and our backline is better, we have a new solidarity. Plus everyone is more comfortable with the ball and each other,” she said.
Even with the new team cohesion, they have faced struggles this season.
The team has suffered many injuries this season, losing experienced midfield players such as senior Megan Avery and senior Brooke Tominello at one point or another. Arsenault suffered a hand injury allowing Ramsden to step in while she was recovering.
Ramsden explained that along with her, other players have had to step up due to the injuries.
“Our bench has had to step up and fil l those midfielder roles. Ann (Odom) has stepped up and Bethany (Leliefield) has had playing time there but has taken on more responsibility.”
Odom is a freshman from Texas and Leliefield is a sophomore transfer from Idaho.