| March 20, 2018

Soccer: Defense Preps For Weekend

April 28, 2016

With the end of the spring season quickly approaching, Idaho women’s soccer coach Derek Pittman said the team will be focusing on defense to guide the program through the final games this weekend.

“Our first priority is always going to be defense and our team knows that,” Pittman said. “If we shut teams down and make life miserable for our opponents, then that gives us the best opportunity to be good on the attack.”

The Vandals defeated North Idaho College 5-0 Saturday, giving up only three shots during the 90 minutes of play. Pittman said it was merely a product of the team’s defensive strides.

“We didn’t allow NIC to get into any sort of rhythm with their passing game or create too many opportunities on our own goal,” Pittman said. “Our players did an excellent job of that on the weekend and that’s what ultimately helped us score those goals.”

On the offensive end, Kavita Battan led the Vandals. The junior scored three out of the five goals for the Vandals.

Battan’s performance in the fall earned her the Offensive Player of the Year award and a spot on the All-Pacific Region second team, an honor usually reserved for athletes from Pac-12 programs.

“Kavita is an extremely talented player, and we just continue to be able to get the most out of her,” Pittman said. “What we saw on Saturday against NIC is just what she’s capable of.”

Battan and the Vandals travel to the Tri Cities Saturday to compete in a double header against Central Washington and Eastern Oregon.

Pittman said the team will be trying to incorporate more variety into their attacks during the doubleheader.

“We’ve always been traditionally a longer passing team,” Pittman said. “We’re adding the ability to build through shorter passing movements and possess the ball up through the middle of the field a little more. Which is great, because it gives us a variety in our attack to be able to do multiple things.”

Pittman said the coaching staff has been working with the attackers and trying to create more dynamic moves.

“I thought our attacking movement has been exceptional,” Pittman said. “We feel like in the last couple weeks we’ve seen that get better and better.”

Pittman said the team is working on harmonizing all aspects of their game.

“Our goal with now as we head into this last week is to make sure all of the areas of the game for us are on point,” Pittman said. “Hopefully we’re playing at a higher rate and clicking on all cylinders really going into these final matches.”

Mihaela Karst can be reached at arg-sports@uidaho.edu

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