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(Photo by Tyler Brown)
The Wildcats open up their season with matches against the University of Idaho and the University of California at Santa Barbara. The matches resulted in a 3-0 win and a 1-1 double overtime tie.

The Weber State University women’s soccer team played its first two games of the season this past week, earning a win and a tie.

The season kicked off with a home game against the University of Idaho. The Wildcats won the game 3-0. The game was postponed 45 minutes due to lightning storms that passed over the field.

WSU sophomore Stacy Bair had a strong showing in the game, scoring one goal and assisting on another. The Wildcats dominated the ball, outshooting the Vandals 27-2, including 13 shots on goal.

Bair started the scoring in the 25th minute, shooting from 15 yards out and bouncing the ball off a defender into the goal. The Wildcats had plenty of opportunities to add to the lead in the first half, outshooting the Vandals 13-1, but were unable to capitalize.

In the second half, the Wildcats doubled their lead in the 66th minute, as midfielder Sarah Thurston found the net off of a pass from midfielder Chansi Crompton.

“I felt like everyone contributed on and off the field, and the players handled the delay in the kickoff well,” said head coach Tim Crompton. “We created multiple chances on goal in the first half, and were rewarded with their consistency in the second frame.”

The final goal came in the 82nd minute as Mackenzie Day found the net off of a pass from Bair. The match was the 14th career shutout for goalkeeper Ryann Waldman.

“The win today felt great,” Waldman said. “Starting off with a W puts us in a great place right from the start. Getting the win with a shutout and three goals feels fantastic. It gives us the confidence we need to move forward from here and continue to play our game.”

On Monday, the Wildcats hosted the University of California at Santa Barbara. The game ended with a score of 1-1.

The scoring started in the 19th minute when Crompton dropped a pass between two defenders to forward Mackenzie Harrison. She made a quick turn and found the left corner of the net.

“I was running behind Chansi and I was like, leave it, leave it,” Harrison said. “Sometimes they hear you and sometimes they don’t. She went all out and did the best dummy ever, faked me out almost, and I was one-on-one with the goalie. Luckily, I kept my cool. If you could draw it out on paper, it couldn’t have been planned better.”

Both defenses were stingy in the first half, with just seven total shots and only three shots on goal. The score at the half was 1-0 for WSU.

UCSB tied the score up in the 59th minute with a goal from Dakota Griggs. The Gauchos had a chance to take the lead on a penalty kick from Miranda Cornejo two minutes later, but Waldman made a diving save to keep the score tied at one all.

The Wildcats were held without a shot on goal until the final seconds of the half, and the game was tied at the end of regulation.

In the first overtime period, WSU had a chance to win the game in the first overtime but had its lone shot on goal bounce off the outstretched fingers of the UCSB goalkeeper. Neither team had a shot on goal in the final overtime period.

“I thought it was a pretty even game,” Coach Crompton said. “UC Santa Barbara is obviously a quality team, and so are we. I figured that it would be back and forth for sure. It was disappointing that we gave up a goal. But hey, they had something to do with that. I think that’s why we want to play a team that we know is a perennial tournament team.  They are a good team, a good program. I thought that anybody that watched the game could see we are right in that same place.”

The Wildcats will travel to Utah Valley University for a game on Thursday.

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