The Idaho women’s soccer season started as fast as the school year did, with a win and a loss in the first two games.
After beating Indiana State in Missoula, Montana, on Aug. 21st, the Vandals lost to Washington State in Pullman on Monday to sit at 1-1 on the year.
Idaho will look to rebound when it hosts former WAC-foe New Mexico State 5 p.m. Friday at Guy Wicks field in the home opener.
The Aggies are 0-2 with two home losses to Eastern Washington and rival New Mexico.
Despite the winless record, Idaho coach Derek Pittman isn’t taking the Aggies lightly.
“Every game is difficult,” Pittman said. “New Mexico State took Eastern Washington to overtime recently and they’re going to come in here looking for a victory themselves. So we need to prepare for them the same way we prepared for WSU. We need to make sure we’re doing the things we need to do on both sides of the ball.”
One of the biggest names to watch in the New Mexico State game, as well as the coming games after, is freshman Kayla Watanabe. The forward from Honolulu was named Big Sky Conference Offensive Player of the Week in just her first week of collegiate soccer.
Watanabe scored the first Vandal goal in the Indiana State win last Friday.
Idaho and New Mexico State last played in 2013 during conference play when both schools were together in the Western Athletic Conference. Idaho won both matches that year.
After the Aggies, the Vandals won’t return home for three weeks. They play four road games before their next home game.
Idaho will travel to Boise and take on Boise State next Friday, followed by a game Sept. 7 at Eastern Washington. Idaho then flies to Memphis, Tennessee, for a game against Arkansas State Sept. 11 and a game against Memphis Sept. 13. The Vandals return home to play South Dakota Sept. 18 and Seattle U Sept. 20.
Ben Evensen can be reached at email@example.com