Courtesy: Ilya Pinchuk (Moscow, Idaho)
|Vandals pull one out in 2OT|
MOSCOW, Idaho – It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t satisfying, but it was still a victory for University of Idaho women’s soccer in the team’s home opener versus South Dakota on Sunday, and a dramatic one, at that.
Vandal senior midfielder Jill Flockhart won a 50-50 ball on the corner of the 18-yard box, dribbled in and cut a diagonal back in front of goal to senior forward Chelsea Small, who popped it past the keeper from six yards to clinch the win at 103:33 of double-overtime.
The win moves Idaho to 1-1-0 on the season and drops USD to 0-2-0. While head coach Peter Showler said he’s also satisfied to get a win, he wasn’t satisfied with the quality of Idaho’s play. The team was hesitant to shoot at times and Showler said they didn’t show the quality that he had seen so much during the preseason.
“We’ll take the win, but South Dakota should feel a little robbed today,” Showler said. “We just didn’t take care of the ball, didn’t have any heart, didn’t have any passion – the things that we’ve shown all preseason went out the window.”
Showler said he wants to see the team come back to practice this week with improved focus and an emphasis on taking its opportunities in front of goal.
“We’ve got to finish chances – we were trying to pass the ball into the net (today),” Showler said.
In all, Idaho held a 21-12 shooting edge, with a 9-5 advantage in on-target shots. The teams were knotted at three corners apiece, while USD was whistled for 12 fouls to Idaho’s three. Small’s winning score was the only shot attempted by either team in extra time.
Senior keeper Liz Boyden put together a second-straight strong performance in goal on Sunday with five saves in 103-plus minutes. The effort gives her sole possession of Idaho’s career shutouts record with 12. USD keeper Mackenzie Viktor tallied eight saves in the contest.
Boyden, the longest-tenured member of the team, said the Vandals started out too slowly and allowed the Coyotes too much freedom early in the game.
“It started out not so great, but we slowly increased the pace,” Boyden said. “We have to be able to play well for the full 90 (minutes), or in this case, the full 110.”
Small’s goal is her first of the season. She extended her Idaho career records in the game with her 32nd career goal, 13th career game-winner and 76th career point.
The win did break a six-match winless streak in extra-time matches for the Vandals. Idaho had been 0-3-3 in overtime in the last six extra periods. The team’s last overtime victory was Sept. 14, 2010, at Weber State.
With that in mind, Showler said that despite the performance being not quite what he had hoped for, it was indeed still a victory.
"I'll take an ugly win over a pretty loss any day," Showler said
Idaho will try to string together a second win in a row on Friday, Aug. 24, when the team hosts Gonzaga at 4 p.m. (PT). The Vandals will follow that up with a home match against North Dakota State on Sunday, Aug. 26, at 1 p.m.