The Weber State University soccer team split a pair of away games last weekend to open its Big Sky Conference play.
The Wildcats fought a defensive battle against Eastern Washington University on Friday afternoon and left Cheney, Wash., with a win under their belts.
WSU defeated the Eagles due to a late second-half goal in the 79th minute from forward Mackenzie Harrison, a freshman from Kaysville, Utah, to put the Wildcats up 1-0. Harrison’s goal came from an assist from WSU midfielder Chansi Crompton, a freshman from Plain City, Utah. Crompton leads the ‘Cats with four assists on the season. The goal Harrison scored gave her a team-leading three goals for the season so far.
WSU managed most of the control of the ball throughout the defensive game from both sides. The team fired 14 shots during the game, 10 of which were shots on goal. The Eagles attempted 10 total shots, with only six of those making their way to the target — each of which was deflected or saved by WSU goalkeeper Ryann Waldman, a junior. Waldman has a total of 45 saves on the season for the Wildcats.
“I thought, as a group, we played really well, both defensively and offensively,” Crompton said. “Mackenzie had a really nice goal, and we knocked the ball around pretty well.”
Concerning the effort and level of play for the Wildcats, WSU Head Coach Tim Crompton said the team was ready and showing its abilities.
“I thought that the girls were well prepared, (and) they played well,” he said. “They played as well as they had been playing up to that point.”
With the win and a 1-0 Big Sky Conference record, the Wildcats then traveled to the University of Montana on Sunday afternoon to take on the Grizzlies.
The game got off to a quick start as the Grizzlies put a goal into the Wildcat net early into the first half. Wildcat defenders couldn’t stop a corner kick, resulting in a header at the 17-minute marker.
The goal the Grizzlies scored in the first half was the only point scored in the game. The ‘Cats put up a solid defensive second half, but were unable to match UM’s goal.
“I feel like we didn’t play as well defensively,” said Chansi Crompton about the quick start for the Grizzlies. “The girls were bigger, and it took us a little bit to get used to the pace.”
The Wildcats had a total of nine attempted shots during the game and four shots on goal, as opposed to UM’s 18 attempted shots and six shots on goal. Waldman had a total of four saves on the day.
With the win and loss over the weekend, the WSU team now holds a record of 1-1 in the Big Sky Conference.
The Wildcats will now look to continue their Big Sky Conference play as they come back home to WSU for their next three games.
The ‘Cats (1-1) will match up against Northern Arizona University at home this Friday, Sept. 28, at 3 p.m. on the Wildcat Field.
WSU will continue with a few home games after its match against NAU as it takes on Southern Utah University on Sunday, Sept. 30, and Idaho State University on Saturday, Oct. 6. Both teams currently sit at the bottom of the Big Sky Conference standings, with no wins on the season so far. The games will be held on the Wildcat Field outside of the Stromberg Gym.