|Vandals grind out road win|
RUSTON, La. – Balance
has been a calling card for Idaho soccer this season, and the Vandals got a key
contribution from an unlikely source in Sunday’s 1-0 win at Louisiana Tech.
When junior goalkeeper Caroline Towles earned a red card for
handing a ball just outside the box in the 68th minute, freshman forward Morgan
Porter found her time to shine in her very first appearance Idaho appearance –
as a replacement goalkeeper.
Porter immediately saved a free kick upon entering the game,
cleared out a corner kick minutes later and helped the team hold on to the
one-goal lead in the final minutes of a key Western Athletic Conference road
“They had a free kick just outside the box and she handled
it,” Idaho head coach said of Porter. “She handled the situations well and
played on her toes. The girls are all so proud of her.”
Junior forward Chelsea Small did what she does best in just
the seventh minute on Sunday to give Idaho its one-score cushion. Small’s goal
at 6:48 was her 30th career score and 12th career game-winner.
The scoring play was a result of strong build-up after
junior forward Jill Flockhart took a pass from sophomore Bailey Hewitt, and ripped
in a cross to Small, who slammed home a header from 10 yards out.
“It started tremendously,” Showler said of the score. “Bailey
laid a ball off to Jill, then she put in a great cross and Chelsea scored a
bullet of a header.”
Showler said he was very pleased with the team’s pace and
energy to start the game, as well as the team’s resolve after playing the final
21 minutes with only 10 players and still holding Louisiana Tech to just one
shot attempt in closing out the win.
“The sending off meant we had to re-tool a few things,”
Showler said. “The girls just battled and battled, dug deep and ground out a
phenomenal result considering the circumstances. I’m really proud of them.”
Overall, Idaho held an 8-7 shots edge, while both teams had
four on-target attempts. The Lady Techsters earned five corners to Idaho’s two.
Small led all players with three shots, all on goal.
Flockhart’s assist is her team-leading sixth of the season
and already her third in WAC play. Hewitt was also credited with an assist on
the scoring play for her second dish of the year. The two are now tied for
second on the team with 10 total points this season, behind Small’s 21.
The win is also crucial from a WAC standings aspect. Idaho
now moves to 6-8-3 overall and 2-2-1 in WAC play, while LTU is now 8-5-4
overall and 1-3-0 in the league. The three points on Sunday move Idaho’s total
to seven for the year and put the Vandals in third place entering next weekend’s
final two WAC matches against Utah State and Nevada.
Idaho will host Utah State on Friday, Oct. 21, at 3 p.m. (PDT) at Guy Wicks Field, then will play Nevada on Sunday, Oct. 23, in the team’s Senior Day match at 12 p.m.