Weber State University’s Women’s soccer team has started their season off on a strong note. They beat Southern Utah University Tuesday Aug. 16 with a final score of 5-1. Later that week on Friday, WSU took on Utah State University down at Rio Tinto Stadium and fell short with a final score of 1-0.
First, the Wildcats traveled down to SUU. WSU out-shot SUU 8-4 in shots on the frame. WSU jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in only the eighth minute of play when sophomore forward Felicia Sortor scored one off a corner kick.
After another eight minutes, sophomores Sarah Mager scored another one, nailing the right side’s back upper 90.
Five different ladies found the back of the net during that game. Besides Mager and Sortor, seniors Victoria Anderson, Kylie Johnson, and Jessie Baddley scored in the second half to solidify the victory.
WSU then traveled to Rio Tinto Stadium to play in its first league game against USU. The Wildcats have lost to the Aggies for the second straight year. The Wildcats really struggled to keep hold of the ball during the first half and constantly found themselves playing defense.
“We were starting four freshmen, and we struggled in the first half,” said WSU head coach Tim Crompton. “The first 20 to 25 minutes of the second half we played really well. If we did that in the first half, it could have been a different game.”
Goalkeeper Kirsten Anderson said the reason they were playing defense so much is because they were taking too long to pass the ball. She also said that possession will be something the team will work on in practice this week.
“We are going to work on possession,” Anderson said. “We are going to work on passing the ball quickly and passing it without taking too many touches and losing the ball. That’s why we were defending the entire game.”
With 13 minutes left in the first half, USU’s senior forward Shantel Flanary headed the ball into the upper left post of WSU goalkeeper Kirsten Anderson’s net. USU’s Summer Tillostson found Flanary making the run after taking a free kick from a foul outside the box. USU out-shot WSU 10-1, and WSU out-fouled USU 5-1 in the first half.
In the second half, the Wildcats were able to shake their nerves and picked up their game, but it was a too little, too late. USU’s defense held strong and the ‘Cats were unable to score. The ‘Cats also tightened up their defense in the second half. With 36 min left in the second half, USU was really pounding the ball at WSU’s net. The team came through and cleared the ball leaving USU with no chances to score. The Aggies still out-shot the Wildcats 22-8.
Throughout the entire game, both teams played very physical soccer. Anderson said that the team came into the second half with a rejuvenated attitude.
“It was a disappointing result,” Anderson said. “We definitely came out better in the second half. We were pushing better than we were in the first half. I think the entire team realized that we were down one, nothing, and it was the second half, so we decided to do something. It was not the result we wanted, but we did not just give u.”
WSU is about to start a six-game road trip playing schools like Utah Valley University, Gonzaga University, Washington State University, and University of Utah. The Wildcats will return home to the P.E. play field on Sept. 18 to play New Mexico State University.