Soccer notes: UI sets sights on another run
University of Idaho coach Peter Showler likes his team’s chances of responding to Sunday’s disappointing 2-0 Western Athletic Conference loss to Utah State in a fitting manner.
And why shouldn’t he?
Following a 2-0 loss to Wyoming on Aug. 29, the Vandals (13-4, 4-1 WAC) reeled off six straight wins before losing again. And they bounced back from the 2-1 setback to Seattle University that snapped that streak to mount another six-match run that ended with last weekend’s loss at USU.
“I never like to lose, and neither do my girls,” Showler said. “But one loss does not define a season, and I have no doubt our girls will get refocused and come back with extra vigor like they’ve done before. It we can go on another six-game (win) streak, we’ll be in a pretty good position.”
The loss to Utah State dropped UI out of the top spot in the WAC standings and snapped a streak of 13 straight games in which the Vandals scored at least one goal. And it also cost Showler the service of one of his most reliable defenders, sophomore Cassandra San, who suffered a broken leg just before halftime.
“Not to take anything away from Utah State – they’re a very strong team, well organized and we knew it was going to be a real humdinger from the start, but we had that traumatic injury just at the stroke of halftime, and it had a big effect on our team,” Showler said. “It just seemed to take us out of stride.”
Next up for the Vandals is a Sunday match against archrival Boise State in Boise. The Broncos (6-8-2, 3-1-1) are in third place in the WAC, just two points behind Idaho.
“It’s another big match for us,” Showler said of the Governor’s Cup showdown that starts at noon. “Our aim is to qualify for the WAC tournament and then prove ourselves once we’re there.
“We’ve never done that before, but I have every confi- dence in our girls and that this is the year we’ll get that done.”
Big wins for Gonzaga
Gonzaga University played its way into the West Coast Conference title picture over the weekend with a pair of home wins over Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount, teams that were tied for sixth in the latest NSCAA West Regional rankings.
It was the first time the Bulldogs (7-8-1, 2-1-0 WCC) have won back-to-back matches this season, which is not surprising, considering they have played six teams ranked in their regions.
“This was an incredible weekend for our team,” coach Amy Edwards said following Sunday’s 2-1 win over LMU. “The strength of our schedule is paying off. We are playing good soccer right now.”
Next up for the Zags is a Friday night road match against WCC co-leader Santa Clara (10-3-2, 3-0-0), which is ranked No. 12 in the NSCAA poll and No. 15 in Soccer America rankings.
EWU keeper honored
Eastern Washington University’s sophomore goalkeeper Jamie Walker has been named the Big Sky Conference defensive player of the week after making 15 saves in helping the Eagles post back-to-back conference wins over Idaho State and Weber State last weekend.
The BSC’s saves leader, picked up her first career shutout and registered seven saves in a 2-0 win over ISU on Friday and then turned back eight shots on goal in a 2-1 victory over WSU on Sunday.
The wins were the first of the year for the Eagles (2-11-1, 2-2-0).
The pink jerseys that will be worn by Washington State to commemorate National Breast Cancer Awareness Month during Friday’s 2 p.m. home match against Oregon State can be purchased for $30, with a portion of the proceeds going to breast cancer research.
For information on how to purchase a jersey contact Craig Lawson at (509) 335-0265 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
After suffering a 2-1 loss to Puget Sound (12-1-1, 9-1 in the Northwest Conference) that dropped them two points behind the conference-leading Loggers on Sunday, Whitworth’s women (10-4-1, 8-2-1) will have the luxury of playing their next four matches at home before closing the regular season at Lewis & Clark on Nov. 6.