Rams and Pioneers play to 1-1 draw in Denver

The Colorado State women's soccer team opened up the 2018 season on the road Thursday night, battling the Denver Pioneers to a 1-1 draw at the University of Denver Soccer Stadium. 

In the first half of action, CSU registered both of its shots on goal in the first 10 minutes of the game, but really did not have another legitimate scoring chance after that. The Pioneers on the other hand, recorded both of its first half scoring opportunities in the later 22 of the opening period, but Rams goalkeeper Hunter Peifer stopped both attempts. 

Following a tight and scoreless first half, which featured a pair of shots on goal for each team, both programs opened up the field in the second half. CSU and DU exchanged goals within 10 minutes of each other in the early stages of the second, and the intensity really picked up from there. 

The Rams opened the scoring in the 58th minute, as Hannah Gerdin's cross from the left side was deflected into the net by a Pioneer defender and ruled an own goal. The momentum was short lived though, as DU answered nine minutes later with a goal from Hannah Adler, who headed the ball from the left side of the goal box to the back post.

Down the stretch, CSU put itself in a position to come away with an outcome in extra time, recording the only shot in overtime and holding the Pioneers without a shot over the final 20 minutes. The shot came from Gerdin, who was able to create a turnover defensively and found herself in a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper with just over five minutes remaining. Hurdin's shot went high over the left corner of the goal though, so the score stayed tied, 1-1. 

"Our team played pretty well tonight against a team expected to win its conference, and we had some players that probably had personal-best performances out there," head coach Bill Hempen said.

"Hannah (Gerdin) was certainly one of them, and KK (Caeley Lordemann) was outstanding. For a freshman in her first game, Sam (Studt) playing 101 minutes really made a difference out there, as did the some kids off the bench that stepped in and made a significant contribution. We all want to win, but I really liked our players' effort out there tonight."

Hempen referenced Lordemann, who played 110 minutes in her first career college game. But five Rams players saw the field for all 110 minutes of the contest, including Halley Havlicek, Lordemann, Hunter Pfeifer, Beth Plentl and Lexi Swanson. 

With the draw against Pioneers, CSU now has just one loss in six season openers. The Rams are 2-1-3 all-time in their first game in a season, and are unbeaten in their last four season openers (1-0-3).

The Colorado State women's soccer team returns to Colorado Cup action on Sunday at Colorado. Kickoff is slated for 3:30 p.m. MT from Prentup Field.

PHOTO: Courtesy of CSU Athletics