Courtesy: Bruce Mann (Moscow, Idaho)
|Soccer fades in second half|
SEATTLE – Idaho women’s soccer gave up an early goal, then got one right back and showed the fire that head coach Peter Showler had hoped to see – but a forgettable second half left the Vandals with a 5-1 loss at Seattle U on Sunday.
Idaho fell to 3-11-1 overall and 0-2-1 in Western Athletic Conference play with the loss, while Seattle U moves to 7-5-1 and 2-0-1.
Forward Stephanie Verdoia got the Redhawks on the board first at 14:05, but the Vandals answered right back senior midfielder Jill Flockhart sent in a cross that found sophomore Katie Baran’s head for an equalizing score at 19:01.
“Jill put a perfect cross in and Katie made a fantastic diving header,” Showler said of the score.
The goal was Baran’s second of the season. She now ranks second on the team with eight points this season and has scored a point in each of Idaho’s last three matches. The assist was Flockhart’s third of the year and the 14th of her career, which ranks third all-time at Idaho.
The game was an even matchup for the rest of the half and neither team was able to break through. Showler said he thought the team finished the first 45 minutes with great momentum and confidence, but after the break, it all changed for the Vandal women.
“It just evaporated in the second half,” Showler said. “We had some fantastic momentum in the first half, but it just didn’t carry through into the second. We just weren’t hungry enough and they were hungrier than we were.”
SU put in a score less than two minutes into the half to go up 2-0, then added a third goal at 55:06. Showler said he thought Idaho had an answer shortly afterward when a Meli Cortez header went off the crossbar and appeared to cross the line, but was ruled out. Senior Erica Hart moved in and put in the rebound, but was ruled offside before the score.
There were other chances for Idaho in the second half, but the Vandals couldn’t capitalize. Seattle scored twice more in the final 10 minutes to push its goal total to five. It was the most goals surrendered in WAC play by the Idaho women since 2007.
Seattle held a 14-10 overall shots advantage and a 6-2 edge in on-target attempts. The Redhawks also earned seven corners to Idaho’s two, while the Vandals were whistled for nine fouls and Seattle tallied six.
Despite the loss and the slow start to WAC play, Showler said he’s still encouraged by the team’s first-half play on Sunday – and now the team needs to put that together into a full 90 minutes.
“We know that we have five games left and plenty to play for,” Showler said. “We showed in the first half that we can compete with the best teams. We’ve just got to stick with it and I know we will.”
After playing road games for the last three weekends, Idaho will return home this weekend to host San Jose State and Utah State on Thursday and Sunday, respectively. Thursday’s match kicks off at 3 p.m., while Sunday against USU starts at 1 p.m., both at Guy Wicks Field.