MOSCOW, Idaho – Idaho
women’s soccer busted out of its funk in a big way on Friday at Guy Wicks Field
with a four-goal barrage to get back to its winning ways in the team’s Western
Athletic Conference home opener against Hawai`i.
The Vandals (5-8-2, 1-2 WAC) struck twice in the first
period, then twice more after the half and weathered two late scores from the
Rainbow Wahine to claim the 4-2 victory, Idaho’s first conference win of the
Freshman midfielder Lilly Archer got it all started at 14:14
when she smacked a shot past UH keeper Kanani Taaca after a Chelsea Small cross
to put the Vandals up, 1-0. Shortly before halftime, the Vandals earned a
corner and junior Lauren Layton sent in a perfect lob to find sophomore Chelsie
Breen’s head at 34:41.
“That first goal – on the chest, turn and volley – it just
sets the tone, then adding two more goals after going up 2-0 was just great,”
Idaho head coach Pete Showler said. “Giving up the last goal kind of took the
edge off it, but either way, we dominated the game and it was nice to see. We
came out and set the tone early and made it difficult for them.”
Archer’s goal was her second of the season, while Small’s
assist gave her the one point she needed to take sole possession of Idaho’s
career points record at 67, which makes her Idaho’s all-time points, goals (28)
and shots (292) leader. Layton earned her team-best 13th career assist on the
corner, while Breen’s score was her first of the season.
“It feels really great – it’s a reflection of this program
and where we’ve come,” Small said about her records. “We’re getting the ball
forward and we’re attacking well, and that’s where it shows.”
Idaho started the second period much like they finished, and
pushed the pace immediately. Junior Jill Flockhart worked her way up the
sideline and sent a cross through the box to sophomore Bailey Hewitt for an
easy finish from six yards out to put the Vandals up 3-0 at 49:01.
An unlucky break put the Rainbow Wahine on the board at
64:47 when Idaho junior goalkeeper Caroline Towles made a sliding save to stop loose
ball, but had it slip out of her grasp right to UH’s Krystal Pascua, who
cleaned it up.
Flockhart and Hewitt teamed up again just seven minutes
later, as Hewitt’s pass sprung Flockhart free behind the defense and she sent
in another cross through the middle to find freshman mid Katie Baran for an
“We couldn’t let off, because 2-0 is a dangerous score,” Showler
said about the halftime lead. “We came right back at them and just kept doing
what we do. Knowing that they had beaten Utah State and hammered Nevada, it was
a great way to come out and show what we’re capable of doing.”
The assist gives Flockhart a team-leading five this year,
while Hewitt netted her fourth goal of the year – second-most on the team – and
Baran scored her third. Idaho’s four goals in the match came from four players,
and the team had four different players combine for five assists.
After attempting 11 second-half shots, UH held an 18-17
overall edge in attempts, but Idaho had a 10-6 advantage in on-target shots.
Towles made four saves for Idaho, while Taaca had six. Each team attempted one
corner, while UH had 13 fouls to Idaho’s 11.
With just one match this weekend, Idaho now has a full week
to prepare for the most trying road trip of WAC play. The Vandals will make
road treks to New Mexico State on Friday and Louisiana Tech on Saturday next
weekend. Friday’s match starts at 6 p.m. (PDT), while Sunday’s game is at 11
“We talked today about how much the WAC means and we didn’t want to let it slip through our fingers, so we just came out with everything we had,” Small said. “We took everyone’s desire and built on it.”