For the fourth time in eight matches, Utah State soccer played beyond 90 minutes, battling to a 0-0 double overtime tie with host Portland State at the Viking Classic in Hillsboro, Ore., Sunday.
The Aggies are now 5-1-2 overall, including 2-0-2 in overtime matches. Last season, USU had four overtime matches the whole season, going 1-1-2. Portland State is now 1-4-1 this season after the tie. This was the second-straight shutout for the Aggies and third of the season.
Senior goalkeeper Ashlyn Mulford was named Defensive Most Valuable Player with two shutouts in the Viking Classic. Eastern Washington's Nathalie Black earned Offensive MVP honors. Three other Aggies earned all-tournament honors in sophomore forward Jade Tarver, freshman midfielder Maris Hamblin and junior midfielder Kendra Pemberton.
"I am so excited that she (Mulford) got that shutout. Ashlyn definitely earned the shutout today," Cairns said. "She made some big saves. Probably some of the biggest saves were in the first few minutes of the match. They kind of unleashed a flurry of shots. She definitely earned both of the shutouts this weekend. She never got rattled and was very confident."
The Vikings came out swinging in the first half with four shots on goal in the first four minutes of the match, testing starting Mulford. The hero in Friday night's match against Boise State, Daniela Solis, challenged with a shot in the seventh minute that was corralled by the Aggie defense.
Even though Portland State out-shot Utah State, 8-2, in the first half, the period ended with a scoreless tie.
Despite getting out-shot in the first half, Utah State did have three corner kicks, all taken by junior defender Jessica Hoskin.
In the second half, the Aggies came out strong with the first five shots of the second period. Hamblin had a shot blocked, while junior defender Jackie Tillotson sailed a shot wide.
The Vikings fought back with two shots in the 75th minute that were saved by Mulford, increasing PSU's shots on goal count to six. In the 78th minute, USU had its first two shots on goal with PSU goalkeeper Lainey Hulsizer saving shots off the feet of Pemberton and Hoskin.
In the 92nd minute, sophomore midfielder Lexi Morgan connected on a Hoskin corner kick that sailed just wide. Both teams were active in the first overtime with PSU taking five shots and USU attempting three.
Pemberton continued the Aggie attack in the second overtime pushing Hulsizer to make two saves. She also added a corner kick with less than a minute remaining in the match, but Utah State was not able to find the back of the net.
"Both teams were shooting, and both defenses came up really big. We are playing much better soccer which I am really happy about. We lacked a little bit of composure in the final third in terms of finishing," USU head coach Heather Cairns said.
After three-straight road matches, Utah State returns home for one match against Pac-12 powerhouse Washington on Thursday, Sept. 13 at 4 p.m. The match against the Huskies is the first of three-straight at home as USU will also host BYU on Sept. 20 and future Mountain West rival, Wyoming, on Sept. 23.
As always, admission to all Utah State soccer matches are free. The Aggies will be streaming all home soccer matches through the USU website. There is a Utah State All-Access Monthly Subscription for $9.95 and a Utah State All-Access Yearly Subscription for $79.95. Live stats can be accessed through GameTracker.
Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.
Copyright 2016, Deseret News Publishing Company