LARAMIE, Wyo. – Wyoming soccer hosts a pair of opponents from Colorado Springs, Colo. this weekend at the Louis S. Madrid Sports Complex. The Cowgirls will square off with Air Force on Friday at 3 p.m. MT before a Sunday afternoon matchup with Colorado College, set for 1 p.m.
Wyoming owns a 5-6-1 overall mark and is locked in a four-way tie at the bottom of the league standings with a 1-3-0 record in conference play. UW closes out the back-half of its four-game homestand in need of results with three-straight road games on the schedule after this weekend.
The Cowgirls are coming off their first Mountain West win of the season last Sunday, a 2-0 shutout over Nevada. Wyoming is just the fourth team this season to score multiple goals against the Wolf Pack. UW will need the same offensive firepower this weekend against a pair of opponents that allow the second-fewest and fifth-fewest goals in the MW, respectively. The Cowgirls continue to be a tough team to beat at home this season, now at 3-1-1 in Laramie. Under head coach Pete Cuadrado, Wyoming is 12-7-2 all-time in MW home games.
The Cowgirls have not struggled to take shots this season, averaging 14.67 per game, the third-highest mark in the MW. UW’s 5.83 corner kicks per game still leads the conference, but the Cowgirls average just 1.25 goals per game. Freshman forward Michaela Stark leads UW in points after tallying one goal and one assist in Sunday’s victory. Stark is tied with senior defender Katie Marcheso for a team-best three goals on the year.
After Sunday’s win, junior goalkeeper Georgia Rowntree is tied for the conference lead in shutouts (4) and tied for second in saves (49). UW’s goals-against average of 1.21 ranks sixth in the MW, and Rowntree’s save percentage (.766) is the fifth-best mark in the league.
“When you move a few players to different positions, it takes a game or two to adjust but we’re in a good place right now and excited to keep playing,” Cuadrado said. “Air Force is a really physical team that has gotten a lot of good results recently. We know we’ll have our hands full, but any time we’re at home we feel like we can beat anybody.”
The Falcons continue conference competition after a 2-0 win over Boise State last Sunday, improving to 2-2 in MW play. Air Force averages just 8.75 shots per game in league games, the lowest mark in the conference. However, the Falcons sit middle of the pack in most other offensive categories. Air Force is fifth in points per game (4.18) and assists per game (1.27), and sixth goals per game (1.45). Junior forward Brooke Rittmann leads the Falcons in scoring with four goals, while sophomore forward Kaitlyn Cook has a team-best three assists.
The Falcons are a solid team, defensively. Only four opponents have netted multiple goals against them this season. Sophomore goalkeeper Jennifer Hiddink and the Air Force defense have allowed the second-fewest goals in the conference (11) and own the second best goals-against average (0.97). Hiddink is also second in the MW in saves with 61.
The Cowgirls are 12-7-1 all-time against the Falcons, and 3-1-0 under Cuadrado. UW has only lost to Air Force once in the last 13 meetings, with an 11-1-1 record over that span. The Cowgirls claimed a 1-0 victory on the road in last season’s contest.
Colorado College is 6-6-0 overall and 2-2-0 in conference play after a 1-0 win over Utah State last Sunday. The Tigers are 2-4 in away games this season and 1-1 in MW road games. Colorado College will face Colorado State on Friday before Sunday’s matchup with the Cowgirls.
Sophomore forward Clara Richter is third in the conference in shots per game with 3.08, and leads the Tigers with five goals. Three of her goals have been game-winners, which is tied for the most in the MW. Junior goalkeeper Louisa Mackenzie has started in each of CC’s conference games, and currently holds the third-best goals-against average in the MW at 1.00.
The Tigers own the lead in the all-time series with the Cowgirls at 9-1-0. Under Cuadrado, UW is 1-2-0 against Colorado College. The last time the Tigers came to Laramie, the Cowgirls grabbed victory in overtime, 3-2.
Friday is UW's military appreciation game. Fans with a military ID will receive a free hot dog and drink. Sunday is the pink game, and the first 50 students will receive reusable grocery bags.
The live stream of both matches will
be available through GoWyo.com, and will also be available for viewing on the
Mountain West Network at TheMW.com and on Campus Insiders at CampusInsiders.com. Live
stats can be found at the links above. Follow the Cowgirls on Twitter
(@WYOSOCCER) for live updates throughout each match.