The Vandals defeated Idaho State on the road 2-1 Sunday afternoon in one of the final games of the regular season.
Idaho head coach Derek Pittman said in a news release that the team did not play a strong first half.
“We didn’t play well in the first half and Idaho State capitalized,” Pittman said. “They had a lot more energy and enthusiasm than we did, just battling for first and second balls and just competing. And our staff really challenged our team at halftime, made a few tactical changes that we needed to address, but more than anything we needed to light a fire under our group and get them to compete like they did on Friday night.”
Idaho State put the first point on the board in the 20th minute of play when Lauren McGahie knocked one in from outside the box.
Idaho responded midway through the second half when junior defender Kelly Dopke tied up the game in the 57th minute on a free kick about 30 yards out.
“Kelly has been working on set pieces quite a bit as of late, and we know she has the ability to do those things,” Pittman said. “What bigger time could you ask for something like that? For her to step up and level the score for us.”
Idaho continued to battle during the second half, scoring the final goal of the game in the 77th minute giving them the separation they needed.
Redshirt freshman midfielder Taylor Brust picked the ball up just inside the Idaho half and passed it to freshman Kaysie Bruce. Bruce got past the Idaho State defender and crossed the ball to senior midfielder Olivia Baggerly who got the ball right in the back of the net, to give Idaho the go ahead and seal the win.
“We just wanted to keep the momentum going, keep pushing,” Pittman said. “We had a little bit of a lull after the goal but I thought some of the subs stepped in and did an excellent job. Kaysie Bruce got to the sideline and served a quality ball, and Liv who’s nursing a little bit of an injury got herself in the right spot and did what she’s capable of doing.”
The Vandals play next on their home turf against Eastern Washington 7 p.m. Friday night in the team’s final effort to reach the Big Sky tournament.
Marisa Lloyd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org