No. 12-ranked Fort Lewis slips by Mountain Lions

By Doug Fitzgerald published September 24, 2010

DURANGO - A nationally-ranked opponent, a long, same-day bus ride and a fluke goal were too much to deal with as the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs dropped a 1-0 decision to the Fort Lewis Skyhawks Friday afternoon at Dirks Field.

Sara Egbom scored the Skyhawks' lone goal, a 40-yarder from the right side that slipped through the hands of UCCS goalkeeper Kelly Schroeder.

Schroeder redeemed herself in the second half with a brilliant save on a Torrey Larson header. Schroeder was header to her right to mirror a crossing pass when Larsen headed it to the left against Schroeder's momentum. Schroeder wrenched her body backwards and got a hand on the ball.

It was one of four saves made by the freshman from Coronado High School in Colorado Springs.

The goal held up, though, as the Mountain Lions struggled to get their offense churning against a packed-in Fort Lewis defense. Having scored early (the 14:26 mark), the Skyhawks played a defense-first match the rest of the way. UCCS managed just eight shots, only three of which were on goal.

Each of those three were stopped by Christine Schmlzle, who logged her fifth shutout of the season.

The Skyhawks improved to 7-1 on the season, 3-1 in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play. UCCS slipped to 4-3, 1-2 in the RMAC.

The Mountain Lions boarded a bus at 4 a.m. Friday morning in order to get to Durango in time to check in to their hotel and get stretched out prior to the 3:30 kickoff. The same-day travel schedule was a necessary concession to the tight-budgeted era in which Colorado higher education finds itself. The extra day of lodging (not to mention missed class time for student athletes who have Thursday evening classes) was an extravagance that UCCS opted not to have.

But while the fiscal moderation might make lawmakers and taxpayers smile, it had an unavoidable affect on the Mountain Lions.

"We didn't have the same fire and energy that we normally have," said UCCS coach Nichole Ridenour. "Obviously, it would have been better to travel the night before the game instead of the same day."

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