Courtesy: Spencer Farrin (Pullman, Wash.)
|"It all came together"|
COUER D’ALENE, Idaho – In the team’s final full match of spring play, University of Idaho women’s soccer coach Pete Showler said he was delighted to see everything the team had been working on come together in one performance.
The Vandals played at North Idaho College Saturday afternoon and came away with a 5-0 victory that left Showler impressed with both sides of the pitch.
The team’s five scores came from four different players and the four assists in the match came from three different players, and it started right from the get-go.
Sophomore Katie Baran won a tackle in the NIC zone in the second minute and tapped a pass over the senior Chelsea Small, who put a shot into the upper corner for a 1-0 Vandal lead. Senior Megan Lopez put in her first of two goals just eight minutes later to put the Vandals up, 2-0.
“Megan scored on a diving header off a great cross from Erica (Hart),” Showler said. “It was just a fantastic finish.”
Baran was on the receiving end of a Hart cross in the 19th minute for a close-range volley to put the Vandals up, 3-0. In the 28th minute, junior Breanna Wilson was in the right place at the right time for a rebound goal after a Small shot was saved. Showler said Wilson hit it in, “with the finest of angles.”
Lopez capped Idaho’s scoring with eight minutes to play when she dropped a free kick into the top corner of the net from about 35 yards out.
“It’s so great as a coach when everything comes together,” Showler said. “There was just some sublime passing and great runs – it was just some quality finishes today.”
Defensively, Showler said he was glad to see senior Liz Boyden and the Vandal back line walk away with a clean sheet.
“The defense was very organized, even when we switched up personnel,” Showler said. “For the defenders and the keepers to keep the clean sheet takes a team effort. There was very good movement forward from the back line, but the mids and forwards got back and helped out quite a bit, too.”
After seeing solid stretches in Idaho’s first four spring matches, Showler said he was happy to see the team move the ball well, communicate and respond to pressure on Saturday from start to finish.
“NIC worked hard, hustled and were physical,” Showler said. “They closed down quickly and put us under a lot of pressure, so I was really pleased with how we let the ball to the work. It was a splendid way to finish up the 11v11 part of the spring.”
Spring play isn’t quite done, though. The Vandals will travel to Spokane next Saturday for a 7v7 tournament, hosted by Gonzaga that will also include teams from Eastern Washington, Montana and Walla Walla Community College.
“They’ll play high-tempo games, so it’s a great way for them to enjoy it and to end well,” Showler said. “They want to go win it. It’s a good, fun, competitive environment, and a great way to finish off a long spring season.”