The Weber State University women’s soccer team continued its streak of road games as it traveled up to Boise, Idaho, to take on the Boise State University Broncos and Washington State University Cougars last Friday and Sunday. The Wildcats put their unbeaten streak on the line as they entered the matches with a record of 2-0-1.
Coming off two straight games that both went into double overtimes, the Wildcats hoped to score early and often. Chansi Crompton opened the game with the first shot on goal, but that attempt was saved by the Broncos goalkeeper, Maddy McDevitt.
Senior goalkeeper Ryann Waldman continued her stellar start to the season between the pipes as she recorded her second shutout of the season and the 15th of her career. The Wildcats weren’t able to find the back of the net, but neither could the BSU offense.
After another grueling double-overtime game, the match ended in a scoreless tie. BSU outshot the Wildcats 12-8, but the Wildcats had the advantage in shots on goal, 3-2.
The team returned to the pitch two days later to take on an opponent from the Pac-12. The Cougars struck first off a set piece in the seventh minute. Cougar Nicole Sutterland took advantage of the early chance and WSU never looked back. The Cougars continued to dominate up front for most of the game, as they were able to outshoot the Wildcats 12-5.
“It was a lot of the small things that we learned we needed to do a bit better,” Waldman said. “Washington State’s pace was a lot quicker than we were used to, but I feel that we picked that up in the second half. We now know what it takes to beat teams like that. Overall, it was a great experience.”
The early goal was the game-changer, as the Wildcats were unable to get the momentum they needed in the final third as they suffered their first loss of the season, 1-0. That loss ended the four-game unbeaten streak they started the season with. Even after a tough loss, sophomore defense Brecken Holbrook and Waldman said they felt it was a great experience and the team would apply the things it learned.
“It took us a few minutes to get going, but we just struggled putting (it) all together, especially in that final third,” Holbrook said. “But one thing I really learned is that I need to have the right mentality from the start of the game. We can’t allow teams to dictate the pace; we need to change the way that they play. We need to play our soccer and make them change what they had planned to stop us.”
Head coach Tim Crompton said he was proud of the way the team didn’t back down to the physicality of the Cougars and continued to play hard until the end.
“Overall, the girls played hard and had some good stretches this weekend,” he said. “We played tremendous team defense.”
The Wildcats will return to the pitch Friday night when they travel to Laramie, Wyo., to take on the University of Wyoming.