MSU Denver women’s soccer hit the pitch in their season opener Sept. 1 against Rollins College at Auraria Field. The Roadrunners defeated the Tars 4-2.
Head coach Adrianne Almaraz said her team played well overall in the first regular season game. The Roadrunners have 17 returning players and eight newcomers, building on a base of experience.
“I think we have a little bit more experience under our belt,” Almaraz said. “Last year we were very young. We’re still very young this year.”
The Tars made the first attack putting pressure on the Roadrunners early in the game. The ‘Runners remained composed and responded with great defense, then attacked with just as much intensity. MSU Denver scored first when forward Tess Hagenlock got an open look at the goal in the 18th minute.
Rollins tied things up 1-1 at the 29:48 mark with a goal by Breanna McKee, but less than a minute later, Hagenlock scored her second goal of the game and the Roadrunners closed the first half up 2-1.
“I think we came out a little bit shaky just ‘cause it’s the first game and we’re all a little excited and nervous,” senior Haley Renko said. “But we scored two and got a good lead.”
The second half of the game mirrored the first. Both teams played with a lot on intensity. The Lady Roadrunners showed a lot of poise as they kept up their defense to maintain the lead.
MSU Denver sophomore Karisa Price broke free and got an open look at the goal. She shot a goal right past the goalie to make the score 3-1. Five minutes later sophomore Abby Rolph, who led the ‘Runners with 10 goals in 2011, scored to put her team up 4-1.
Rollins defender Azure Dorsey put one in the net in the 75th minute, but the Florida team wasn’t able to make up the deficit and the Roadrunners came away with the win.
“I’m excited. I’m pumped,” Hagenlock said. “We came out here to win and we got it done.”
It was a perfect way to start out the 2012 – 13 season. The team has high expectations this year and they are determined to reach them. So far they are off to a good start.
“We want to win a national championship,” Renko said. “But we take it game by game so every game we just play to win.”