WSU soccer falls to Air Force Academy

[media-credit id=10 align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]Lately, the Weber State University Women’s Soccer Team has struggled with giving up early goals in the match and hasn’t been able to recover. On Friday night against the Air Force Academy, it was a late goal that did them in.

Despite controlling the action on the field for a large portion of the match, WSU dropped their fourth match of the season, falling 1-0.

WSU forward Jessie Baddley said that, while the team is disappointed with losing a match, their main focus in the early-season matches is to focus on working together and prepare for later matches in the season.

“The result isn’t what we like to focus on in the first part of our season,” Baddley said. “It’s more on how we are playing, the things we are doing together and the opportunities we are creating within the game, and from there, the rest will come.”

The Falcons’ Megan Dozier scored in the 71st minute from five yards out after a deflection, notching the only goal of the match as Air Force held on for the win at Cadet Soccer Field.

On a ball sent into the box down the right side, Dozier was able to get to the ball after it deflected off WSU goalkeeper Ryann Waldman. Dozier then punched the ball in from five yards out for the score.

The Wildcats were able to outshoot their opponent 14-8, but Air Force goalkeeper Kelly Stambaugh successfully saved the six Wildcat shots on goal.

WSU had six shots to AFA’s four in the first half, and then gained eight in the second half.

Sophomore forward Felicia Sortor came off the bench with a team-high three shots, while senior midfielder Collette Simmons and sophomore forward Sarah Mager each recorded two shots.

The Wildcats have had a challenging non-conference schedule, facing schools from major sporting conferences like the Pac-12. Waldman said that, while the non-conference games prepare them for the year, their main focus is on the Big Sky Conference games later in the season.

“Fall is the main season for our team,” Waldman said. “Right now, we are in our preseason games, and start conference play here in about a month or so. This season, everyone on the team has the same expectations, and that is to win the conference.”

The Wildcats, who fell to 1-4-0, will play their next home game on Sept. 18, when they will take on New Mexico State University. WSU will play their first conference game of the season on Sept. 30, when they will take on rival Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho.

WSU defender Bailey Eames said that she expects a challenging conference schedule, but that the team will be ready and could win the conference this season.

“I think Northern Arizona (University) will be one of our toughest opponents this year because they won the conference tournament last year,” Eames said. “They will want to continue being champions and we want (to be champions) just as much.”

The University of Montana has been picked by the coaches’ poll to win the Big Sky Conference this season, while WSU was picked to finish near the bottom of the rankings, but Waldman said that the team feels they will continue to improve, and will be prepared for the conference play.