As the Idaho women’s club soccer team formed a circle and shouted, “Vandals,” the sound reverberated off the Kibbie Dome and the Memorial Gym. It was a crisp, fall Saturday on the SprinTurf with a hint of sunshine and a strong breeze.
The Vandals (1-3) played Saturday and Sunday, losing 5-1 to Washington Saturday and won 2-1 against Seattle U Sunday.
The Huskies maintained a quick pace and took several shot attempts.
Sophomore Joelle Stephens scored Idaho’s only goal in the first half of the play.
Stephens chased the ball toward the goal and Washington’s goalkeeper moved forward to meet the ball. Stephens kicked the ball toward the net and it rolled past the Husky goalkeeper. A defender followed the ball, but it sank into the net before she could catch it.
Minutes later, Washington scored off a corner kick. The ball bounced off chests and feet before flying into the net.
Idaho head coach Mark Spellmire said the team played better during the first half.
“We were talking, we were moving the ball around,” he said. “Second half we were really reactive. We did not play the single one-touch passes, which we worked on a lot.”
Washington went on to make three goals during the second half. Idaho freshman goalkeeper Julie Roach made several diving saves to lessen Washington’s lead.
The Administration Building bells chimed through campus as a quick turnover caught the Vandals off guard. Washington drove the ball down the field and into the net, as Idaho failed to drop back and defend.
The SprinTurf was slick with rain Sunday afternoon as Idaho took on Seattle U. Despite the inclement weather, the Vandals earned a win for the first time this season.
Stephens scored Idaho’s first goal in the 14th minute, putting Idaho up by one.
Spellmire said Stephens is a natural forward.
“She has the speed,” he said. “She’s also smart where she doesn’t just whack the ball as hard as she can. She knows to play the simple ball. She had a good weekend.”
Idaho made several close shots during the first half.
Junior Frances Arend barreled toward the goal, unchecked by Seattle U. A Warhawk defender disrupted her trajectory at the last second.
Spectators came draped in layers. One toted an umbrella with soccer ball pattern.
Both teams agreed to a shortened game because of the weather.
Spellmire said the team moved the ball much better Sunday.
“We started doing the one, two touch passes,” he said. “Last game we were reactive and were a lot more proactive.”
Minutes into the second half, Stephens and a Seattle U player crashed and fell to the ground. Stephens was slow to get up and walked cautiously off the field. She spent the rest of the game on the bench.
Spellmire said she was experiencing some soreness and he expects her ready to play for next weekend.
Arend scored Idaho’s second goal.
Seattle U answered with its lone goal in the 81st minute.
Tess Fox can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @tesstakesphotos