The Weber State University soccer team squared off with the University of Montana Grizzlies in the Wildcats final home match of the season on Oct. 7. It was the final home match of the careers for WSU seniors.
The ‘Cats beat Montana 2–1 in a contest that came down to the final horn. WSU also defeated the University of Northern Colorado Bears 2–1 in overtime two nights prior.
The WSU seniors honored were defenders Olivia Glassford and Shailyn Jenkins, forwards Morgan Quarnberg and Madison Garlock, midfielder Chansi Crompton and goalkeeper Sarah McCarthy. They have watched the team fluctuate throughout their careers and are looking to finish on top of the Big Sky Conference standings.
The win over Montana helped the Wildcats stay in first place with a 5–0–1 conference record.
WSU freshman midfielder Olivia Barton is pleased with the progress her team has made.
“It feels really good,” Barton said. “We put a lot of work in during the summer, so it’s kind of like you are seeing it now at the end of the season.”
The ‘Cats are currently on a four game winning streak and a six game unbeaten streak.
Last season, the Wildcats were second to last in the conference as they finished the season 3–12–3 overall and were 2–5–3 in conference play. In 2018, the Wildcats are 7–3–4 overall.
The Wildcats and Grizzlies started off slow, as both teams were feeling each other out and looking for holes. Both teams played efficient defense, hardly allowing shots on goal before senior forward Madison Garlock hooked up with freshman midfielder Olivia Barton for a Wildcat goal. This goal came with 27 minutes left as Barton found the back of the net from centerfield to ignite the WSU crowd.
However, the first half lead was short lived. The Wildcats gave up the tying goal 40 minutes into the half after fouling inside the penalty area, which led to Montana executing on a penalty kick to make it 1–1 heading into halftime.
After the half, both teams came out hungry for more goal chances, and the Wildcats found themselves with another one. Once again, it came from a connection connection between Garlock and Barton once again, which gave the ‘Cats a 2–1 lead.
“We’ve been working on getting in scoring areas a lot in practice,” Barton said. “That’s what we work on, so it’s nice to execute.”
The Wildcats were able to hold their lead until the final horn sounded thanks to Nikki Pittman, redshirt junior goalkeeper, who was aggressive and defensive. Pittman finished with four saves to help keep her squad on top.
Weber State has three games remaining in the regular season, all on the road. The ‘Cats will play at Eastern Washington University, the University of Idaho and Idaho State University before the Big Sky tournament kicks off.
The tournament will be held at the Wildcat Soccer Field from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4.