Courtesy: Spencer Farrin (Pullman, Wash.)
|Soccer holds first scrimmage|
MOSCOW, Idaho – University of Idaho women’s soccer held its first full scrimmage of the fall on Sunday, and head coach Pete Showler said he came away very impressed with the team’s intensity and overall depth in the 1-1 draw.
Showler said he wanted to give the players some real game experience before the team opens its season on Friday at Texas Tech.
“The whole purpose of the day was to get into a game day routine and get players familiar with the warm-up and pregame procedure, then to get them into a realistic, game-type situation,” Showler said. “In all respects, it served its purpose.”
Senior midfielder Erica Hart started the scoring for Idaho Black at the 37:39 mark with a beautiful, curling strike from 20 yards into the top corner, then junior mid Breanna Wilson equalized at 57:00 on a breakaway. Sophomore defender Emily Ngan earned the assist on Hart’s score, while senior mid Megan Lopez earned the dish for the through pass on Wilson’s break.
“It’s always nice to see the backs of the new onion bags rippling, and hopefully that’s a sign of things to come,” Showler said of the scores. “Both goals were well-taken and there was nothing either keeper could have done, just two well-struck shots.”
Wilson almost netted the game-winner in the final moments, but her strike from the edge of the 18-yard box pinged off the front corner of the framework and out.
“I think today went really well,” Wilson said after the match. “We’ve been working really hard on getting players into the box. I felt like we had huge numbers today and it was easier to get opportunities, and that’s how I got so lucky.”
In all, Idaho Black outshot Idaho Gold by an 18-12 margin and also held a 7-4 edge in on-target attempts. Senior forward and Western Athletic Conference Preseason Offensive Player of the Year Chelsea Small led all players with five attempts, while four other players had four attempts each.
Idaho’s three keepers split time in net during the session. Senior Liz Boyden made three saves without surrendering a score in 52:20, while senior Caroline Towles made four stops with one goal allowed in 65:07 and freshman Marina Siegl made a pair of stops and allowed one score in 62:33.
Showler said that the team’s overall depth and quality is greatly improved, and that fact is likely to give him a headache this week as he and his staff settles on a travel squad and starting lineup for the weekend.
“It’s the hardest part of my job, but it’s also an enjoyable part,” Showler said. “Because it’s so competitive, my job is harder, and the depth in quality is just a testament to the hard work and the quality of play.”
Hart, who attempted four shots with two on target, said the players have come back this season with stronger resolve, and that the new players have fit right in.
“We’ve got an older team this year and it has been a lot more physical out there,” Hart said. “All of these returners are holding everyone to a very high standard and the new players are pushed to that standard and they’re keeping up very well.”
The Vandal women open their season on Friday at Texas Tech with a 5 p.m. (PT) kickoff, then make a quick turnaround for their home opener at Guy Wicks Field on Sunday, Aug. 19, at 1 p.m.