This archived article was written by: Austin Fietkau
The past two weekends have been a river of hope and rain for the Eagles. The team was scheduled to play four games, one of which was canceled due to weather conditions. Despite the impending weather, USUE managed to pull out two important wins, while dropping one.
On Friday, Sept. 23, the Eagles were forced to play Sheridan College on Carbon High School’s field instead of their own. According to assistant coach Cole Davis, the CHS’s pitch looked “more like a swimming pool” than an actual soccer field.
The first half was a battle for both teams as they struggled to adjust to the Dino’s soggy field. The first half ended 0-0.
During half time, head coach Ammon Bennett encouraged confidence in his players; “step up the intensity this next half and I promise we will walk away with a win today.”
The team responded, putting in two goals and ending the game 2-0 for USUE. The team and coaches had center forward Tristan Booth to thank for putting in both goals. “[The field] was small,” said team captain Chandler Fietkau, “but we came out very, very strong today.”
While Friday’s game was underway, USUE’s groundskeepers worked diligently to pump some 100,000 gallons of water off of the college’s home field in hopes that Saturday’s game could be played there. They were successful, but the battle the Eagles had against Colorado Northwestern Community College on Saturday wasn’t so much.
CNCC beat the home team 2-1. Assistant coach Jared Woodhouse said to his players after the game “the outcome we had today should have been much different… They are a very good team. One that doesn’t give you many opportunities, but guys… We have to put away the chances we do get.”
In the first half, English midfielder Jae Partridge received a scoring opportunity about eight yards from CNCC’s goal, which zoomed just wide of the left-goal post. Later, in the final minutes of the game and one-point down, Italian midfielder Fabio Massaro was given a long ball which he settled in the opposing team’s goal box. Alone with the goalie, Massaro wound up, shot and cringed as the ball went sailing over the goal.
“I’m not dissatisfied so much with how we played…with two exceptions: we needed greater physicality and we absolutely have to put away our chances to score,” Bennett said.
The following week, Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, USUE played Snow College, again at home. It was a game to remember for fans. Friday marked the end of Spirit Week on campus, and in addition to the loaded fan section, administration gave out T-shirts, blow horns, hot dogs and nachos to the fans. The cheer leaders and dance team performed during half time and led the crowd in supporting the Eagles throughout the match.
Mid-way through the game, USUE led the match 3-0. With counsel from coaches to “turn up the heat” and “burry” their opponents, the Eagles took the field for the second half.
But the Badgers came with some heat of their own. Eager to dig themselves out of their three-point “hole,” Snow College put in two goals, one of which was a penalty kick.
With 15 minutes remaining, USUE managed to hold the Badgers at 3-2, securing themselves the win. On Saturday, the Eagles and Badgers attempted their rematch. However, the weather had different plans. Thirty minutes through the first half, with a score of 0-0, the game was paused for lightning. Within 10 minutes, the storm was right over the field and rain pounded the field for more than an hour.
After the storm passed, it was determined by officials that the game would have to be rescheduled due to the standing water which accumulated on the field.
The date and time for a consolation game between USUE and Snow College has not yet been determined.
The Eagles play Oct. 7 and 8 at home against College of Southern Nevada. CSN concurred USUE 5-1 in their last match-up, but team captain Kenneth Marse feels that this time will be different.