The final result may have been the same as the Vandals first four games of the season, but the Vandals and Broncos played a virtually even game on the field, albeit in a losing effort for the Vandals.
The two Boise State goals were scored by junior midfielder Brooke Heidemann and senior midfielder Shannon Schuren respectively, as the Broncos beat the Idaho soccer team 2-0 Friday at Guy Wicks Field.
The Vandals will attempt to get their first win of the season on Friday when they travel to Moraga, California, to take on St. Mary’s.
Despite giving up the two early goals, Idaho didn’t appear rattled, which Idaho coach Derek Pittman credited to his team’s mental and physical toughness.
“We made some mistakes early on with how we were defending not only up front but also our communication across the back, and Boise State is a good enough team they are going to punish you for it,” Pittman said. “We gave up five shots on goal and they put two in … Credit to Boise State, they came in with a great game plan.”
There was a record number of 603 Vandal and Bronco fans in attendance for the in-state rivalry game at Guy Wicks Field, many who were clad in black during a Vandal “blackout” night. But there was a sizable Bronco contingent in attendance as well.
After a rocky start to the season, sophomore goal keeper Torell Stewart was on top of her game against BSU. Despite giving up the two quick goals, she quickly recovered and made a number of athletic saves, two of which were within minutes of each other. Gabby Leong, a sophomore defender, also helped out near the goal as she managed to corral a loose ball a few feet away from the net after the ball ricocheted off Stewart’s hand.
“We need to still improve getting better in front of goal, but at least we created more goal scoring opportunities today than we have in the last three games,” Pittman said. “I am proud of our team for sticking to our game plan and doing what they needed to do to improve and put out a good effort.”
Although the Vandals were outshot 16-8 in the game, that is still an improvement on where the Vandals were previously, Pittman said. The Vandals had more scoring opportunities in this one game than they did in their previous three games combined, he said.
Of the eight shots the Vandals took, sophomore midfielder Elexis Schlossarek and freshman midfielder Chloe Bell tied for the team lead with two each. Schlossarek could have recorded a third had a corner kick not sail just over the top of the net. Sophomore forward Kavita Battan, junior midfielder J.P. Burgess, freshman forward Olivia Baggerly and junior forward Reagan Quigley also recorded shots.
Sophomore forward Alyssa Pease could have also recorded a shot and potentially a goal had BSU’s freshman goalkeeper Janelle Flores not beaten her to a loose ball by mere inches.
“Shot selection-wise I am not that concerned about it, I am just worried about are we getting into the spaces to even create the opportunities to score” Pittman said. “We had to defend a lot because Boise State is a good, possession oriented team, but I felt that we were able to pin them back at times and create opportunities off of our pressure. We’ve just got to be cleaner in that final third … and not settle for bad, average shots.”