WOMEN'S SOCCER: At Cedar City, the Aggies defeated Southern Utah, 1-0, Saturday, on a goal by sophomore Kendra Pemberton in USU's only exhibition match before the 2011 season begins.
Junior midfielder Julia Flores collected the ball in the middle of the field and made a great pass to senior striker Shantel Flanary who dribbled past a Thunderbird defender and delivered an outstanding cross. Pemberton nearly had to dive to connect her head with the ball at the six-yard box, as the ball found its way into the left side of the net.
"I feel a lot more ready now that we got this game under our belts," USU head coach Heather Cairns said. "We started the game out a little shaky, even though we got the goal in the first half. However, in the second half we calmed down and definitely played better soccer."
Before making the trip to Cedar City, Utah State and Southern Utah had not met since 2005 when the teams tied, 1-1. Overall, the Aggies hold a 4-0-1 advantage over the Thunderbirds with a record of 3-0-1 in regular-season meetings.
"It is an exhibition, and we always want to win. But this is normally when we play our blue and white intra-squad scrimmage game, and I don't think any of our girls have played a real exhibition game before," Cairns said. "I am pleased with how we grew in the second half and as we calmed down and played better soccer. It is a great foundation to build on as we get ready to play Weber State at Rio Tinto to start the season."
The Aggies will officially open the 2011 season against Weber State at Rio Tinto Stadium, the home of Major League Soccer's Real Salt Lake, on Friday August 19 at 4:30 p.m. This is the third-straight season that USU has played at Rio Tinto Stadium. For the first time, the Aggies will be the visitor as USU is 2-0 in matches at Rio Tinto. Following the match between the Aggies and Wildcats, Iowa Western will take on Westminister in an exhibition at 7 p.m.