For the Orediggers, scoring against the Grizzlies was like the first snow of the season.
It didn’t happen as soon as fans had hoped, but it was an inevitability.
The Colorado School of Mines women’s soccer team crushed Adams State 3-0 during Mines’ last home game of the regular season on Oct. 22.
Now on a five-game win streak and ranked No. 14 in national polls, the Orediggers advanced to 11-2-3 overall and 7-1-2 in conference play. They also had a narrow lead in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference standings going into their Oct. 26 game at No. 5 Colorado Mesa and Oct. 29 game at Westminster.
Whatever awaits them in their final regular-season games, the Orediggers hoped to extend their postseason play as long as possible by advancing to the RMAC tournament finals and getting an NCAA tourney bid.
Seniors Landry Corbett and Ava Harman said the unofficial team motto right now is “get another game.”
Harman added: “I’m really proud of our team and looking forward to seeing how far we go and what we can do.”
The Orediggers were doing a lot in their Oct. 22 against the Grizzlies. In the first half, they put up 18 shots, including eight on goal, and had three corner kicks. By comparison, the Grizzlies only had one shot the entire game.
Despite their relentless offense, Mines couldn’t quite beat the keeper and had several close calls throughout the first half. But, Corbett and Harman said, the players knew they had to keep at it and the goals would come eventually.
“We’ve had a couple of games this year where we’ve just struggled to get some (goals) in,” Harman continued. “Our coaches just say: ‘Keep doing what you’re doing. We know that they’ll come.’”
And that’s exactly what happened.
In the 52nd minute, sophomore defender Callie Fuhr played Harman a great ball near the Adams State goal. Harman headed it into the left side of the goal and finally broke the seal for the Orediggers with her second goal of the season and third of her collegiate career.
About 10 minutes later, junior midfielder Elisse Putnam found Corbett downfield. Corbett took a touch and shook the defender. With an open goal, Corbett sank it into the back of the net for her third goal of the season.
Then, in the 70th minute, freshman forward Bella Campos scored her 10th goal of the season as she drove up the right side of the box and sank the ball into the left side of the net. Putnam also assisted on Campos’ goal.
The Orediggers also had another goal that was called back for being offsides. But, in total, they put up 30 shots during the game, had eight corners, and took up 61% of the possession time.
“It was a hard-fought game,” Corbett said. “ … We held our ground, and I think we did a really great job.”
An unofficial Senior Day
Although the Adams State game was the last home match of the regular season, Mines hosted its Senior Day celebration during the Oct. 1 game against Regis. The team celebrated its seven departing seniors, including Corbett.
The mechanical engineering student and senior midfielder said Oct. 22 felt like an unofficial Senior Day game, and she was thankful she scored a goal in the last regular-season home game.
Corbett added that she was proud of her teammates and her time at Mines, but was “excited to see what the rest of life brings” for her and her fellow seniors.
“I think my teammates have not only made me a better soccer player, but a better person,” Corbett continued. “ … I’ve never been as close to a team as I have this one, and I think it shows. I’m really going to miss them. This was a big part of my life, and it’s going to be hard to say goodbye.”
While Harman is returning for the 2024 season, she was reluctant to say goodbye to her teammates. She recalled their freshman class starting at Mines in fall 2020 and said the group grew incredibly close after everything they went through together.
“We were together all the time,” Harman said. “ … We got super-close that year, and it’s just been that way ever since.”
While her classmates are going their separate ways after this season, Harman was looking forward to one final year with the Orediggers. She’s already met next year’s freshman class, and she’s excited for Mines’ potential this postseason and into 2024.
“It’ll be sad to say goodbye to everybody,” she continued, “ … but I’m excited for the future too.”