Courtesy: Spencer Farrin (Pullman, Wash.)
|Soccer drops one at UNLV|
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – University of Idaho women’s soccer hung tough with an aggressive UNLV team on Sunday, but fell in their final non-conference game of the season after surrendering a late own goal at Peter Johann Memorial Field.
Idaho (3-9-0) was outshot in the game, 20-7, and the Rebels (8-2-1) earned 16 corner kicks, but the Vandals held strongly and minimized the scoring chances until a corner kick in the 75th minute.
Idaho goalkeeper Liz Boyden went out to punch the ball and fell to the ground, UNLV sent the ball back in and the clearing attempt by Idaho’s back line ricocheted off Boyden and back into the net at 74:20.
“They got a lot of corners and free kicks and we handled them, but unfortunately, one sneaks through,” Idaho head coach Peter Showler said. “We knew coming in against that team that a lot of their goals had come off set pieces and it’s disappointing that they were able to get one in.”
The Vandals got a pair of late chances when senior forward Chelsea Small earned space in the UNLV 18-yard box, but both of her attempts went wide and the team wasn’t able to muster an equalizer.
Small tallied six of Idaho’s seven shots in the match, while Boyden made six saves.
Despite all the corners and shot attempts, UNLV only had seven on-target attempts, most of which were from the edges of the 18-yard area. Showler said he was happy with the way the team managed the attack of a team that came in with a lot of momentum and had the added benefit of not playing on Friday.
“I think we did a very good job of marking tight, staying with our markers and snuffing out any opportunities, and that’s pleasing going into conference,” Showler said of the set piece and corner defense. “We matched them everywhere and they were getting frustrated, so I was proud of how we performed. I’m disappointed to lose, but I’m pleased with how we played.”
While the 3-9-0 non-conference record wasn’t what Showler said he and the team had hoped for, he added that with Western Athletic Conference play starting next week, the crucial part of the season has yet to begin.
Idaho heads to Texas next week to open WAC play at Texas State on Friday at 5 p.m. (PT) and then at UTSA at 11 a.m. (PT) on Sunday.
“It’s a new season now – we’re back to 0-0 and that’s what conference play is about,” Showler said. “This is what we’ve been preparing for. The girls know that we believe in them and they’re playing with a lot of confidence, so we just have to let that show through.
“If the girls carry that self-belief, we’ll be golden.”