The Vandal soccer team traveled to Cedar City, Utah on Friday to take on the Southern Utah Thunderbirds and start a three-game road stretch. The Vandals threatened all game, but were the victims of a few runs of bad luck. Idaho lost 3-1.
As has been their trademark all season, the Vandals were able to apply substantial pressure throughout the game. The Vandals accumulated 23 shots, 12 of which were on goal. Southern Utah tallied only nine total shots, but eight threatened UI keeper Makayla Presgrave.
Southern Utah opened the scoring in the tenth minute after an unlucky bounce sprung Thunderbird defender MaKenzie Lawrence for a one-on-one with Presgrave. Lawrence converted the favorable situation into a 1-0 lead for the Thunderbirds.
Lawrence was not finished picking on the Vandals. In the 30th minute, Lawrence took a cross from Southern Utah forward Devri Hartle and again found the back of the net to make the score 2-0 for Southern Utah.
The box score favored Idaho in most statistics at halftime, but Southern Utah went into the break with the lead and would not relinquish it.
The second half proved to be more of the same for the Vandals. The Thunderbirds broke through again in the 52nd minute, with a goal from forward Ally Thimsen to give Southern Utah a commanding 3-0 lead.
The deficit would prove to be insurmountable. Idaho tallied a lone goal in the 87th minute from sophomore forward Myah Merino off of a header, and the final score was 3-1 Thunderbirds.
Eleven different Vandals finished with a shot and nine were able to threaten the goal, but the Vandals were frustrated all day by Thunderbird goalkeeper Kaitlyn Caldera.
Caldera worked wonders against the Vandal attack, with seven saves in the first half and 11 in total. The frustration boiled over for the Vandals twice, with yellow cards coming in the 39th and 69th minutes.
Senior midfielder Olivia Baggerly led the Vandals with five shots, two on goal, but came away empty handed.
The loss drops the Vandals to 0-2-1 in Big Sky play, with seven conference games to go before the postseason tournament.
The Vandals travel to Northern Colorado to take on the Bears 6 p.m. October 6 in Greeley, Colorado.
Jonah Baker can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @jonahpbaker