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(Photo by Tyler Brown)
Weber State University soccer player Mackenzie Harrison handles the ball in a game against Portland State University. The Wildcats lost to the Vikings 3-1 on Thursday.

With the regular season winding down, the Weber State University women’s soccer team hosted two critical matches with seeding implications last week. The first and most prominent game came on Thursday in a 3-1 loss against first-place Portland State University.

WSU bounced back, reciprocating the score with a dominating 3-1 performance over the Hornets of California State University, Sacramento on Saturday afternoon. Mackenzie Day scored in both matches, with Mackenzie Harrison knocking in two on Saturday.

Head coach Tim Crompton called Thursday’s game “a tough pill to swallow.” While the final score made it look like WSU got run off its own field, that simply wasn’t the case. While the Wildcats dominated possession for the game, a couple of costly mistakes and a controversial call gave the Vikings easy opportunities to pull away.

“You can’t give away easy goals,” Crompton said. “If you give away easy goals, it is a formula for losing. You are not going to win games if you do that. We possessed the ball well, and more than doubled them in shot attempts, but just gave away easy goals today.”

PSU’s first goal came in the 26th minute off of a cross that got behind goalkeeper Ryann Waldman. Then, after a failed clearing attempt, the ball found itself at the feet of Ariana Cooley, who easily knocked it in from 10 yards out.

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(photo by Tyler Brown)
Weber State University soccer player Sarah Thurston handles the ball in a game against Portland State University. After a loss to PSU, the Wildcats bounced back with a win against California State University, Sacramento Saturday, 3-1.

In the second half, the Vikings doubled their lead in the 56th minute, with Cooley rolling in a goal off of a corner kick.

The Wildcats continued to dominate on possession and shots, but it didn’t pay off until it was almost too late in the 82nd minute. Wildcat assist leader Chansi Crompton sent a through pass to Day, who knocked it in from 15 yards out.

Less than five minutes later, PSU’s Tamia Hasan got tackled in the box by Shaylee Peterson, who was sent off the pitch via a controversial red card.

The official signaled to Hasan to take the kick, but Waldman wasn’t set on the goal line, causing more controversy. While the NCAA 2012-13 Soccer Rules state, “The opposing goalkeeper . . . shall remain on the goal line facing the kicker,” Section 14.3 states, “For any infringement by the defending team, the kick shall be retaken if a goal has not resulted.” Therefore, there was no need for the official to have the kick done again.

Knowing they played well against the Vikings, the Wildcats bounced back with a strong match against CSUS.

WSU more than doubled the Hornets’ shot attempts with 24, compared to their 10, 14 of which were on goal, compared to five for CSUS.

Day got WSU on the board in the 35th minute, heading in a goal off of a corner kick and off the keeper’s thigh.

“We practice corner kicks a lot,” Day said. “All I did was just went for the ball and headed it in. The goalie barely touched it, but it kept going in. It just felt really good to finally get a header.” It was the fifth goal for Day this season.

Later in the 50th minute, Harrison was tripped up in the box and awarded a penalty kick, which she easily rolled in on the left side.

But she wasn’t done just yet.

In the 71st minute, Chansi Crompton got her second assist of the week as she gave Harrison a perfect through ball that was rocked into the left side netting, leaving the keeper stunned. Harrison still leads her team in goals this season with seven.

“You always learn something from losing, and I think that just motivated us to win today,” said Harrison of last week’s play.

The Wildcats now look to solidify their second-place position in the Big Sky as they head on the road for their last two games of the regular season. On Friday they will face the University of Northern Colorado, which is currently tied with WSU. The final game of the regular season will then be held in Grand Forks, N.D., on Sunday, with WSU taking on the University of North Dakota.

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