Idaho vs. Memphis
The Idaho soccer team defeated Memphis in a dramatic 5-4 matchup Friday evening. Four unanswered goals in the second half fostered the Idaho comeback.
Head coach Derek Pittman said he could not be more proud of the performance, drive and will of his players throughout the uphill battle.
“Holy cow,” Pittman said.
Memphis got the scoring started in the eighth minute, but Idaho quickly matched with a goal of their own in the 18th minute.
Both teams were going blow-for-blow in the early minutes, but the Tigers started to pull away when they net the go-ahead goal in the 32nd minute. Memphis took a promising 4-1 lead after a pair of goals in the second half.
Junior defender Kelly Dopke provided Idaho with a goal that cut into the Memphis lead and sparked the Vandals’ comeback, setting the score 4-2.
It was as if the Vandals built off each goal they scored. In the 75th minute, junior forward Bridget Daley and senior midfielder Olivia Baggerly began to make their presence known. Daley scored the first of her two goals, while Baggerly assisted.
Two minutes later, Baggerly found the back of the net on a solid free kick that tied the game 4-4.
Idaho continued to work quickly, but not frantically. The team took a little longer to notch the game-winner, but when it happened, the Idaho sideline erupted.
Daley capped the night with goal number two from the top of the box. She found a shot opportunity and took advantage to secure the win.
Idaho vs Nevada
A one-sided, offensive matchup went in favor of the Idaho soccer team Sunday afternoon. The Vandals topped Nevada 6-0, following an impressive comeback victory Friday night. Idaho has scored 10 unanswered goals in the last two games.
Idaho head coach Derek Pittman said in a news release he is proud of the attacking mentality of his players and their will to score so many goals.
“This was a game that we needed to be attacking minded, and we knew we would have the opportunity,” Pittman said. “Nevada didn’t try to attack.”
Junior forward Bridget Daley did not skip a beat from her game-winning shot in Friday’s thriller. She tallied the Vandals’ first goal in the win, while sandwiched between two Nevada players. Daley slid, made a play on the ball and rattled the back net.
Idaho’s second goal came from sophomore midfielder Morgan Crosby, and the ball barely crossed enough of the goal to count.
Crosby was working toward the box when the ball sailed from the opposite sideline. She played it off a big bounce and found just enough of the goal.
The third Idaho score was credited to another pivotal player from Friday’s win, senior midfielder Olivia Baggerly. She took four shots on the day.
Shots came in excess for the Vandals this matchup, many resulting in points. The team totaled 51 shots, 19 of which were on goal.
Pittman said the number of shots taken has never been done by the team.
“That’s the most (shots) I think we have ever had in any game, ever,” Pittman said.
Junior midfielder Megan Goo took her fair share of shots for the Vandals. She totaled seven shots and found the goal late in the second half. Her score extended the Idaho lead to four.
The Vandals offense could not be stopped the entire game. Freshman midfielder Hadley Sbrega and freshman midfielder Kaysie Bruce each found the goal for Idaho. The goals were the first of their careers.
While Idaho’s offense was putting up numbers, the defense was holding its own. Nevada’s offense did not take a single shot and the ball rarely crossed into Idaho territory.
“We pride ourselves on being defensively organized, but it definitely feels good to score some goals,” Pittman said.
Idaho’s next matchup is Northern Arizona 6 p.m. Friday at the Kibbie Dome.
Zack Ozuna can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @OzunaZack21