Posted at 2 p.m., Oct. 18, 2013

Wyatt Witty

All about control:

Sphomore Wyatt Witty gains control of the ball after a sloppy pass from the North Idaho offense Sept. 8.

Photo by Ike Fredregill

Men's team top conference

Golden Eagles fight to stay ahead as season's end approaches

By Kasey M. Orr

The space between the top two positions of the conference is not vast, but the Laramie County Community College men’s soccer team has earned the No. 1 spot as the season rounds out.

As of Oct. 8 the Golden Eagles had only five games left in the regular season with Otero Junior College nipping at their heals in the conference’s second seat. The Eagles’ eight-game winning streak came to a halt after a 0–2 loss to Otero in La Junta, Colo., Oct. 4.

“It was our first time on the road in about a month,” Head Coach Vince Gibson said.

The team had difficulties the following day against Trinidad Junior College, falling 5–1. These losses were far from the norm for the Eagles during the previous stretch of their schedule. In eight straight wins, the team had managed to leave its opponents scoreless six times.

This was due to the pair of goalkeepers in the Golden Eagles’ stable. “They have pretty much split the season,” Gibson said about Daniel Ainsworth and Taylor Ruff, who have each started seven games. “They make it tough on me when deciding week to week who to start.”

Ruff was at goal during the rough weekend on the road, allowing seven goals, but saving 14.

During the season so far the Golden Eagles stand at 8–5–1 overall, with two wins and zero losses in the conference.

The goal scoring continues to be spread across the team, which Gibson said is part of an overall strategy the team has taken this year.

Whereas in years past Gibson said one or two star players did the majority of the scoring, this year’s squad has taken a much more generous approach, spreading the wealth around the team.

“The team feels like they have more buy-in because everyone is helping out producing a win instead of just two or three players.”

This has the added benefit of causing problems for their opponents’ defensive strategies. Because many teams have a few key goalmakers, LCCC’s defense tends to focus on double- or triple-teaming these players in order to prevent scoring.

“They have to come in evenly balanced and play us that way,” Gibson said, saying it was more difficult for the defense to contain the Eagles with so many players being put in a position to send shots at the net. This has put the Golden Eagles at No. 21 in the country for shots on goal with 114,

The men’s team will spend most of the final stretch of the season on the road, with its final game against Northwest College in Powell Oct. 19.


Men's Soccer