MSU Women Drop Opener to Ft. Lewis

A goal by Fort Lewis midfielder Courtney Riley in the 72nd minute lifted the visiting Skyhawks to a 1-0 season-opening victory over the Midwestern State women's soccer team in front of 852 fans Thursday night at MSU Soccer Field.

Off a pass from midfielder Alicia Sanchez, Riley's shot from the left side of the box found the right corner of the net to break a scoreless game late in the second period.

"I was disappointed that we didn't win," said head coach Damian Clarke. "I thought we did very well in the first half. I think decision-making, probably because of fatigue, ended up being the difference."

In the first period, the Mustangs maintained possession a majority of the half. MSU owned a 10-4 shot advantage in the first 45 minutes of play and limited the Skyhawks to zero shots on goal.

Midwestern attacked the Fort Lewis defense in the opening minutes with junior forward Aly Wade and senior midfielder Morgan Hannon both putting shots on goal for the Mustangs in the first 10 minutes of the contest.

The Mustangs created several scoring opportunities but were unable to get a shot across FLC goalkeeper Caitlyn Espinosa, who finished the night with six saves.

In the second half, the Skyhawks placed two shots on target in the early minutes of the period before Riley's strike later in the frame put the visitors on top.

"I think there were some things we could've done a little bit better to be more dangerous," Clarke said. "We're growing, and we're a much better team this year on day one than we were last year."

Junior forward Nicole Coetzer led the Mustangs with five shots while Wade totaled four with two shots on goal.

MSU led 20-10 in shots with a 6-4 advantage in shots on goal.

The Mustangs are back in action Saturday when they host Colorado Mesa in a 1 p.m. contest at MSU Soccer Field.