|Vandals Clinch WAC Berth in Loss|
MOSCOW, Idaho—Despite a losing effort on Sunday the University of Idaho soccer team clinched its fourth consecutive trip to the Western Athletic Conference Tournament. The Vandals will match up against Seattle U, for the third-straight match, in Las Cruces, N.M.
“We are happy to be there [the WAC Tournament],” head coach Pete Showler stated. “We have a fresh season now. We win a game and we get to the final and that is our focus. We hopefully have two games to play and we know we can step on the pitch and compete. On any given day any team can win.”
Sunday’s match featured a bit everything when it came to the elements. The start of the game was cold and windy and by the end of the game Guy Wicks Field had seen its share of snow and hail.
In her last game home match as a Vandal, Katie Baran got Idaho on the board early in the contest. Baran scored 59 seconds in to the match, netting the earliest goal of the season for Idaho. Kavita Battan played a ball into the goal box from the left side corner. Alyssa Pease screened the Seattle U keeper and the ball was headed into the net by Baran from the right side post. Baran’s goal was only the fourth goal allowed by the Redhawks in WAC play.
Seattle U (15-2-2, 12-0-0 WAC) tied the game up in the 25th minute. Kiana Kraft made a short run to the top of the goal box and fired a shot that found the back of the net. The two teams played out the rest of the first half tied at one, despite Seattle U having a clear advantage in shots, 10-2.
In a strange sequence of events Seattle U got its second goal of the game from an own goal by an Idaho defender in the 54th minute. Almost simultaneously with the own goal, Idaho’s coaches found out that New Mexico State upset CSU Bakersfield in double-overtime, meaning Idaho had clinched the fourth and final WAC Tournament slot. Seattle U added a goal in the 78th minute to close out the game, 3-1.
Idaho (4-15-0, 4-8-0 WAC) will make the trip to Las Cruses, N.M., on Wednesday and prepare for its match against No. 1 seeded Seattle U on Friday. It will be the third time in eight days that the two teams will battle it out on the pitch.
“We know them well, but again they know us well,” Showler commented. “They have put six goals against us and we are not happy about that. We feel we owe them one. We have to step on the pitch and show them that. I know the girls will be ready for that.”
When asked if he had ever played a team three times in a row Showler simply stated: “No, never.”
Notes: Idaho honored Baran, Chelsie Breen, Emma Caringello, Breanna Wilson, Mary Condon and Nitalia Zuniga as graduating members of the 2013 team in a pre-game ceremony…Emily Ngan saw her first game action since Oct. 13…Amanda Pease entered the game in the 66th minute, seeing game action for the first time since Idaho’s win at New Mexico State…Seattle U totaled six corner (3 per game) kicks in the past two games against Idaho the second lowest of the season…Battan’s assist was the first of her career…Marina Siegl and Torell Stewart have combined for a WAC leading 106 saves this season.