The match felt as though it would go into overtime without a goal. A sophomore defender had other ideas.
Fort Lewis College received a last-minute goal from sophomore Kanon Tebo of Belgrade, Montana, and the Skyhawks claimed a 1-0 victory in their spring opener Friday in Grand Junction on a neutral field against Salt Lake City’s Westminster College.
“The game was kind of fitting for our first game in a year and a half,” FLC head coach David Oberholtzer said. “It was a little sloppy and both sides are still working to get into game fitness, but our guys kept grinding.”
Tebo, a substitute who played 12 minutes, was able to get his foot on a ball bouncing around in the box and finish a shot in the lower left corner of the goal. It was his first career FLC goal.
The match saw five yellow cards issued with FLC taking three of those along with 19 team fouls to only four for Westminster. The Griffins also had multiple chances on set pieces from the corner with a 10-3 advantage in corner kicks taken.
“One area we wanted to strengthen was set pieces in general, and to concede 10 corners and not concede a goal, we were very pleased with that,” Oberholtzer said.
Peter Byrne played the first half in goal for FLC and made one save, while Daniel Wilmore played the second half and also made one save.
FLC will try to maintain the early-season success in a match at 11 a.m. Sunday in Lakewood against Colorado Christian (4-1). The Cougars lost for the first time this season Friday in a 2-1 double-overtime setback to South Dakota Mines.
“The more games we get under our belt the better,” Oberholtzer said. “We only have a couple games to play this season, and we gotta get there sooner than later. This was a big, positive step for us against a good team to get out of there with a result we’re happy with. Conference play starts Sunday, so that’s where our focus is now.”