The Colorado School of Mines men’s soccer team got a little piece of revenge Friday night, as they stunned the soccer community in pulling out the upset over the #1 Fort Lewis Skyhawks 1-0.
Fort Lewis, the reigning D-II men’s soccer national champions, ended the Orediggers season last year in the opening round of the tournament by a score of 3-0. Friday’s home game was a different story as the Colorado School of Mines controlled play for most of the first half, firing 5 shots and putting pressure on the Skyhawks defense.
Junior Oredigger midfielder Phillip Wilson nearly broke the scoreless tie in the 27th minute when he pushed his scoring chance wide left. Mines kept up the intensity in the second half and eventually broke through in the 49th minute when Wilson laid a pass up field for a sprinting Basaki Baker who outran the defense and beat Skyhawks keeper Nate Bell in the top right corner for the game’s only goal.
Junior forward Chike Sullivan and freshman Basaki Baker, both with two shots on goal, led Mines to powering a total of 6 shots on goal against Bell. The Orediggers looked solid on both sides of the ball, their crisp passing and sound defense not typical for the first game of the season.
The loss ended Fort Lewis’s 21-game winning streak, dating all the way back to their last loss to Incarnate Word in 2009.
Mines goalkeeper, sophomore Manville Strand opened his season with his first career shutout with two saves. Strand, in his second season as an Oredigger, looks to have a bright future. The sophomore, the 2009 RMAC freshman of the year, was in the top five goalies for save percentage, goals against, and shutouts, and recently earned 2010 preseason All-RMAC honors along with teammates Jacob Juett and Chike Sullivan.
Mines was ranked #18 in the coaches’ preseason poll, and won for the first time against Fort Lewis since 2004. They continue their non-conference homestand with games against #11 West Texas A&M Sept. 7 and the University of Mary Sept. 11.