With two solid wins and a loss versus a tough school, Idaho women’s soccer finds itself at 2-1 in the early stages of the year, due in large part to the play of some certain new faces.
One of those faces is junior Clara Gomez, who is putting up not just some of the best stats in the Big Sky Conference, but nationally.
The Orange, California, native is tied for second in the nation in assists with four. Having that kind of success statistically on a national level already is something Gomez is proud of.
“It means a lot,” Gomez said. “I know the work I’ve put in and I’m happy that it’s showing. Every day I have something to prove and if I can prove that, and the stats are showing that, I’m happy.”
The Vandals are coming off an impressive win over New Mexico State where Olivia Baggerly, Kayla Watanabe and Kaitlyn Joy all scored. It was Watanabe’s second goal of the season, and Gomez assisted all three goals against the Aggies.
Idaho will take on rival Boise State (0-3) in Boise on Friday while the Broncos are looking for their first win of the season.
BSU is coming off a loss to Washington State last Sunday and the Broncos also have losses at Samford and Ole Miss. The only goal they have scored this year came against the Cougars.
“We’re just preparing the same way (for Boise State) that we have the first three games,” Idaho coach Derek Pittman said. “Boise State is a very good team. They possess the ball very well. They’re going to try to break us down with their movement off the ball and their ability to build from their back going forward to create chances.”
Idaho is 4-10-1 all-time against Boise State, losing 2-0 last year in Moscow. The Vandals’ last win came in 2010.
“We’re focusing on how we’re going to defend them and limit their opportunities,” Pittman said. “It’s going to be tough on the road but we’re going to prepare for them like we do anyone else. They’re just the next game up.”
On Monday, the Vandals will be in Cheney, Washington, playing Eastern Washington, though it won’t be counted as a conference match. The match between both schools that will count as a Big Sky Conference game is Oct. 30th in Moscow.
Eastern Washington is 2-1-1 with wins at UTEP and New Mexico State. After tying with California State-Bakersfield, the Eagles lost 3-0 to UC-Davis in Portland last Sunday.
Pittman said Eastern Washington hasn’t been on the mind of the players before the rivalry match with the Broncos.
“We haven’t even started thinking about Eastern,” he said. “Our sole focus and training this week has been preparing for Boise State and once we get that game over with we will focus on Eastern.”
Ben Evensen can be reached at email@example.com