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MOSCOW, Idaho — Utah State soccer completed the road portion of its Western Athletic Conference schedule with a 3-1 win against Idaho at Guy Wicks Field in Moscow, Idaho Sunday.
The Aggies end with a 2-0-2 mark this season on the road in WAC matches with wins against Seattle and Idaho to go with ties against New Mexico State and Denver. Overall, the USU improves to 9-2-6 this season and 4-0-2 in league play. The Aggies have now won four-straight matches after tying three in a row. Idaho falls to 4-12-1 overall and 1-3-1 in WAC matches. USU also improves to 14-1 all-time against Idaho.
With only two conference matches remaining, the Aggies remain in first place with 14 points. USU has only two league matches left this season, and both are at the friendly confines of Chuck and Gloria Bell Soccer Field.
"It was a really back and forth game. Idaho is a fantastic team, and they did not quit. I give a lot of credit to our girls who have the same mentality. We were tired. We were fatigued and banged up. It wasn't the prettiest soccer that we have ever played, but we battled hard, and made the most of our opportunuties," USU head coach Heather Cairns said.
The Aggies struck first in the 35th minute of the match on a play started by junior midfielder Jennifer Flynn, who passed the ball to freshman midfielder Ambryn McCallson. The freshman and sophomore forward Jade Tarver were one-v-one with Idaho goalkeeper Liz Boyden and it was Tarver who won the match-up and got the ball in the back of the net for her fourth goal of the season. The assist was the first of the season for Flynn and the second for McCallson as the Aggies ended the first half, leading 1-0.
In the first half, the Aggies out-shot the Vandals, 5-3. Senior goalkeeper Ashlyn Mulford had two saves, while Boyden did not have a first-half save.
Neither McCallson nor Tarver were done scoring as both were involved in a play that gave Utah State the 2-0 advantage in the 76th minute. Tarver got the ball to McCallson who made her first collegiate goal a thing of beauty, scoring an acrobatic, difficult goal to create some space between the Aggies and the Vandals.
Less than five minutes later, Idaho got one goal back to cut the lead to 2-1 in the 81st minute. The Vandals leading scorer Chelsea Small scored her sixth goal of the season off a 25-yard blast that eluded Mulford.
USU put the match out of reach in the 87th minute with its third goal of the match. Sophomore Lauren Roundy began the play by getting the ball to junior forward Mari Miyashiro, who got past several Idaho defenders. Miyashiro went one-on-one with Boyden, scoring inside the left post for her fourth goal of the season.
For the match, Utah State out-shot Idaho, 17-12, while Mulford had five saves to two from Boyden.
Utah State has only one match next week, taking on San Jose State on Friday, Oct. 19 at 2 p.m. at home.
SOUTHERN UTAH SOCCER: GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Southern Utah picked up its first Big Sky Conference win on Sunday in convincing fashion as it took a 3-0 victory over North Dakota. The Thunderbirds got goals from freshmen Sydney Cook and Mackenzie Moreno, as well as senior Stacey Brinkman whose score moved her atop the SUU record book with 18 career goals.
"I am proud of our team's effort today. It is very difficult to play in double overtime, wake up, fly and then play the next day," explained SUU head coach Becky Hogan. "The efforts of our girls in the weight room and conditioning is paying of big time. The knowledge, enthusiasm and commitment to excellence demonstrated by our strength coach Mike Cazayoux is rubbing off on them."
Neither team was able to notch a goal in the opening half, but the Thunderbirds established themselves as the aggressors with a 7-6 shooting advantage in the period.
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