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Courtesy: Spencer Farrin (Moscow, Idaho)
Vandals Showing Promise
Courtesy: Idaho Athletic Media Relations
          Release: 04/23/2014
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Idaho is set to start a new era of soccer under head coach Derek Pittman. Throughout the spring soccer season members of the 2014-15 Idaho squad will be periodically giving Vandal fans updates and a look behind the scenes as they prepare for the upcoming season. Idaho will opens the spring at the end of March and continue into April. Stay tuned for more updates as they come in.
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Apr. 23,

When reflecting back on the weekend, the thing that sticks out the most to us is our first game on Saturday against Montana. Knowing that Montana will be a conference opponent next season, it was pretty clear that this game was the most important game of the whole spring season. We needed to put in a good performance and pull out a win against Montana to send a message to them and every other team in the Big Sky, that we are not messing around. We want teams to know that the Idaho Vandals are coming for everyone without hesitation. After Saturday’s game, I think we most certainly sent that message. 

The game against Montana started off at a high-tempo pace from both teams. I (JP) can remember that we had a few good chances to put some goals away. In the second half we found ourselves down 3-0. If anyone knows the game of soccer, 3-0 is usually a good indication of who is going to win the game. With about 15min left in the game, I took a corner kick that ended up scoring off the keeper’s hands. We celebrated, but there was still work to be done.

 

Minutes later the ball popped out of the Montana 18 yard box thanks to Alyssa Pease, who pressured their GK into a back pass error, and I saw a golden opportunity to shoot the ball with the keeper out of position. I hit the ball first time off a volley and scored our second goal from about the 25-30 yards out. It was now 3-2 with about 8 minutes left and we were catching up. Another few minutes went by when we scored again thanks to Kat Comesana’s goal off a great cross from the right wing. It was now 3-3, and momentum seemed to be in our favor. I honestly was not sure if we were going to score any more goals in the last 5 minutes, but we did not stop there.

Emily Ngan
our outside back had a great overlapping run and got fouled inside the 18-yard box while doing a beautiful Maradona move, forcing the referee to blow his whistle for a penalty kick. This was it, a chance to win the game. There were only seconds left in the game, and our captain Lex decided to “take one for the team,” and take the penalty kick. 

 

When walking up to the penalty spot, all that was going through my mind was that I (Lex) needed to score this to put us ahead for the first time in the game. When the referee blew his whistle, I just slotted it into the lower left side of the net past the keeper. Immediately after the goal the final whistle blew and we won the game 4-3.

I (JP) do not think I have ever celebrated a win with so much excitement and pride. I (Lex) am extremely proud of our teams’  will to never give up throughout the game. It was an absolutely amazing comeback.

We were all in, wanting to get another big win in our second game against our in-state rivals, Boise State. The game was a whole different tempo compared to Montana. Both teams were getting their fair chances and it was a pretty even game. I (Lex) remember the biggest thing in this game that challenged us was the physical battles. I was trying to be absolutely relentless in my tackles. We wanted to send a message to Boise State that we are a force to be reckoned with. 

 

We may not always be the strongest team when it comes to being physical but we came out with some great strength. I (JP) guess the weight room is really paying off! We ended up being down by a goal near the end of the game, when another last-minute chance arose. 

 

As a result of a yellow card to Boise State, we were rewarded a free-kick just outside the 18-yard box. I (Lex) was a bit nervous when I stepped up to take the free-kick. 18 yards is a close range shot and it is a hard shot to make over the wall. From the sidelines Coach Pittman was telling me to hit it near post, which we had practiced, but I have always shot it far post. I decided to take the risk and curled it over the wall and into the front post. That celebration was probably the best celebration we have had all year. 

 

Though they were just spring games, we believe these types of comebacks from the Vandals most definitely sent a message to everyone in our conference next year. WE CANNOT AND WILL NOT QUIT until the final whistle blows. We are a changed team – a better team – and we cannot wait to see what next year has in store for us! 

 

Love you guys!

 

JP #6 & Lex #7

Apr. 18,

Hi Vandal fans! 

It's Lex and Gabby reporting for this week’s update on Idaho soccer. This week’s practices and games went very well, with a smashing 7-1 victory against North Idaho College.

Reagan Quigley had an outstanding weekend, scoring a hat-trick against NIC and constantly creating chances on offense and vigorously working hard on defense. The team is very pleased with how we closed down NIC's space and limited its ball movement throughout the game. I (Lex) think the team has come a long way since our first game, really adopting how Coach Pittman wants us to play with intensity and organization on both sides of the ball. 

I (Gabby) personally think our defensive back line of Josie Greenwood, Emily Ngan, Madison Moore and Amanda Pease stood their ground while eliminating all chances for the opposition to advance into the attacking zone. Our team’s ability to defend as a collective group continues to improve each week and was very evident in our games this past weekend.  

This week we have trained hard and remained focused. We continue to focus on both our defensive pressure and offensive effectiveness to win games. Tomorrow (Saturday) we play future Big Sky rivals Montana (11 a.m.). We are really focused on this game to show the teams in our new conference what we are made of. Boise State, a huge in-state rival, is also coming to Moscow (3:30 p.m.). We aren't going to let up for this game in order to make our school proud and make Joe Vandal smile.

Love Vandals soccer,

Gabby Leong #25, Lex #7

Apr. 8,

This past weekend was a huge stepping stone for Idaho soccer as we took on Gonzaga and Central Washington. We talked about how we had to come out with the same intensity and effort in every game as we did against Washington State. With more efforts like that, we knew we could get the results we wanted this weekend.

Saturday was an early morning for us when we met the bus outside the Kibbie Dome. The majority of the team did not open their eyes until arriving at Gonzaga. Forced to get ready in the hallway after not being able to find our locker room, we headed out to the field to get pumped up and passionately prepare for the game.

When the whistle blew our team was fired up to play. We talked about pressuring on Gonzaga and not giving them any space to play around. We did exactly that, and I [Alyssa Pease] found the back of the net in the first five minutes of the contest. 

Kavita [Battan] crossed the ball in and it landed at my feet. I was way off-balance and as I shot the ball I fell down. Coach Pittman told me it was probably the ugliest goal that he had seen from me and I would agree with that, but in the end shots make goals so it worked!

Gonzaga tied the game up close to the end of the first half, which was disappointing but we held them off for the rest of the second half. We worked our butts off and ended in a 1-1 tie. 

We had a short break before our second game against Central Washington. While some of us got to hang out with our parents that had made the trip, most of us headed over to Josie Greenwood’s home. We were able to relax on the couch and watch the Seattle Sounders vs. Portland Timbers game. Huge thanks to the Greenwood’s for opening up their home and allowing us to recover before our second game.

In the second game we knew we had to push through being tired, making sure the team was all on the same page. Unfortunately, the game didn’t start how we wanted and we gave up a soft goal midway through the first half. At halftime we talked about our slow start, and how we were going to turn around our play in the second half. It was a time for us to be mentally strong and grind all the way through until to the final whistle. We were a different team on the field in the last 30 minutes of the game. We picked up the pressure and did not let Central Washington out of their half but a couple times. We got more shots off in the final half, helping us to another 1-1 tie. 

Although we had good results over the weekend, we are still working hard this week hoping to get two wins under our belts against North Idaho College and Concordia on Saturday. We hope to see some Vandal fans this weekend as we take on NIC at 10:30 a.m. at home on the Sprinturf and then at 3:30 p.m. in Spokane at Gonzaga Prep as we face Concordia!

Thanks for all your support!!

GO VANDAL SOCCER!

XOXO,

Alyssa Pease #12 & Emily Ngan #3

Mar. 31, 

This weekend was an exciting one for our Vandal soccer team. We played our first two games on Saturday, against the Idaho alumni and Washington State. We were all very excited to play our first spring game and show what we have been working on over the past six to seven weeks with Coach Pittman. We have spent a lot of time getting stronger in the weight room and amping up our intensity on the field both offensively and defensively. Coach is asking us to play a different style of soccer than what some of us are used to. We are going to press teams defensively with a swarm of organized numbers around the ball. Once we win the possession we want to be fast on the attack. Reagan [Quigley] picked up a loose ball and tucked it in the bottom corner of the net in the first five minutes against the alumni, by doing just that.

We are sure you all remember Chelsea Small, now our volunteer assistant coach. Turns out she can still play at a high level and created all sorts of problems for us. Although we did not end up getting the results we wanted, each game is a learning opportunity for us to get better and learn from our mistakes. Coach Pittman wanted us to go out and show what we have learned by enjoying our collective efforts. Unfortunately, in the first game we may have let some of our frustrations get to us because things were not going exactly like we had planned. We all had such high expectations for ourselves that the pressure we put on ourselves might have gotten to us just a little bit. We were not able to relax and enjoy simply playing the game.

After the Alumni game, we all met in the locker room as a team and were able to come together so we could sort through some problems. At Washington State you could see the difference. We had smiles on our faces and were excited that we were finally playing the way we wanted to. The communication and effort was evident with so many of us flying around to pressure the ball and creating chances. There are still many things we need to work on, but this is spring is a process and soccer is never a perfect game.

One thing that was really funny this week was when Coach Pittman made me (Kavita) tape my left ankle because it is so weak and I have a hard time locking it when I hit crosses from that side of the field. Coach can be very sarcastic at times, so the whole team was laughing pretty hard! It's not my fault I have small little ankles!  

We are going to continue working and fighting to make our Vandals proud. Thank you for everyone who came and supported us this weekend. We hope to see you at Gonzaga next weekend when we take on Gonzaga and Central Washington! Hopefully we see more faces in the next few weeks at our home games on Apr. 12, 19!

GO VANDALS SOCCER! 

Kavita Battan #2 & Lex #7

Mar. 13,

Hey Vandal Fans!

It’s Lex (Elexis Schlossarek), wanting to let you know how excited I am for the upcoming spring games! This spring season has been full of surprises like welcoming new head coach, Derek Pittman to our soccer program. Since Derek has become head coach, I feel that we have been focusing on the little technical skills that don't seem very important but are essential to our game, team culture and bringing intensity to how we play. I feel a big change in the team's mentality. We are starting to understand one another, developing a team culture that everyone believes in and being passionate about the game and winning a championship. This spring is a stepping-stone to where we want to be in our fall season. This program is changing in exciting ways. My final two years at Idaho I want to leave behind a legacy. I want to make future women’s soccer players want to be a Vandal based on our team and the work we put in to become champions. I hope I can achieve this goal for the fans that support our team, the school that supports us and for my teammates who deserves to know what it feels like to win a championship. I look forward to seeing all the returning faces there this spring and hope to see some new faces! GO VANDALS SOCCER!

Lex #7 

Hey Vandal fans!

Just a quick update on how the Vandal soccer team is doing.  This spring season has been quite a change for the players as well as the coaching staff with the new addition of our head coach, Derek Pittman. The past month and a half has been high intensity on and off the field. We put in max effort in everything we do and of course we have fun with everything we do! I have noticed a positive change within our team and everyone is excited to step onto the field and give it their all during practice. He hope you come out and support your women’s Vandal soccer team!

Emily Ngan #3  

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