Courtesy: Bruce Mann (Moscow, Idaho)
Chelsea Small
Soccer surrenders late goal
Courtesy: Idaho Athletic Media Relations
          Release: 10/02/2011
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SAN JOSE, Calif. – Idaho struck first, but the Vandal soccer team couldn’t hang on in a 2-1 loss in a Western Athletic Conference road match at San Jose State on Sunday.

Idaho junior Chelsea Small broke a scoreless tie at the 64:04 mark after Spartan keeper Meghan Maiwald came outside the box and misplayed a long ball, which left Small an open net from 25 yards away for her seventh goal of the season.

Small’s goal should have given the Vandals all the momentum, but SJSU responded less than a minute later with a score of its own to even things up. The Spartans sent a ball straight in front of the Idaho goal and SJSU sophomore Kayla Santacruz put it in from the left side at 64:42.

“Chelsea scored a great goal for us, then 38 seconds later, we concede one,” Idaho head coach Pete Showler said. “It was just sloppy – they were hungrier than we were, and that’s not going to get it done.”

After exchanging back-and-forth scoring opportunities, the Spartans connected on the game-winner at 82:11. Just a fraction of an inch separated a goal from a save as Idaho keeper Caroline Towles got her fingertips on a shot by SJSU’s Kelsey Lord, but couldn’t tip it enough to keep it out.

For the second game in a row, the story for Idaho was about missed opportunities, as time and time again, the Vandals put the ball in play on offense and found themselves with scoring chances, only to come up short.

“The defense played tremendously well, but we didn’t finish the chances we created in the first half,” Showler said of his team. “We’re creating them, we’re just not finishing them. It’s just not good enough.”

The loss drops Idaho to 4-8-2 overall and 0-2 in the WAC, while San Jose State jumps to 2-9-0 and 1-0 in the conference.

San Jose State outshot Idaho 19-17 overall and 9-5 on goal. After Idaho held a 13-9 shots advantage in the first 45 minutes, the Vandals managed just four shots in the second. SJSU had three corners to Idaho’s two, and both teams were whistled for 10 fouls.

The Vandal women will get a chance to right the ship on Friday, when they host Hawai`i in the WAC home opener at Guy Wicks Field at 4 p.m. The Rainbow Wahine upset defending league champion Utah State on Friday in double overtime, and face Nevada on Sunday in a late match.

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