The early season struggles continue for the Idaho soccer team as it dropped its fourth straight game to start the season. Gonzaga defeated the Vandals 5-0 Sunday in Spokane.
Idaho now gets its chance for its first win of the season Friday at Guy Wicks Field against in-state rival, Boise State.
The Bulldogs came fast all game long, taking a total of 26 shots, 12 of which were on the Vandal goal. On the contrary, Idaho was only able to manage two shots by sophomore midfielder Elexis Schlossarek and freshman forward Josilyn Daggs during the game, but neither shot was directly at the Gonzaga goal and both shots were taken after the game was out of reach for Idaho.
“We made a couple of adjustments in the second half, trying to seek that equalizing goal, Idaho coach Derek Pittman said. Unfortunately, we left ourselves a little exposed in the back and made a few errors that ultimately cost us.”
However, Pittman wasn’t going to use the added aggressiveness or communication errors on the defensive side or the offensive end as an excuse for why Gonzaga won the game.
“Gonzaga is a very good team, they had a little bit of a flat performance against Montana on Friday night and they definitely rebounded with a lot of energy,” he said. “I thought our team played very well in the first half, fought very hard and defended very well.”
The goal keeper switch that Pittman made late in the second half of Idaho’s 4-0 loss to Eastern Washington on Friday night carried over as freshman Kimberly Gerken got the start at goal keeper for the Vandals. She relieved Torrell Stewart after she yielded four goals against Eastern Washington.
Gerken did not fare well in her first career start as she yielded two goals to Gonzaga sophomore Karley Baggerly — sister of Idaho’s Olivia Baggerly — before she was pulled for Stewart in the 58th minute. About 10 minutes after the switch, Brittany Doan all but ended the game from about 20 yards with a well-placed goal for the Bulldogs. Gonzaga’s Savanah Van Citters and Cassie Geerdts also scored goals after the game was out of hand for the Vandals.
Both Stewart and Gerken will compete for the starting spot in practice this week as the team prepares to host Boise State, Pittman said.
“It’s been an open competition throughout the preseason, Kimie has done a great job over the last couple of weeks and really has challenged Torrell for playing time and they both deserve the opportunity to play,” Pittman said.
The loss dropped Idaho to 0-4 on the season while the Bulldogs improved to 3-1 on the season. The Vandals will look to get their first win of the season on Friday as they host the rival Boise State Broncos at Guy Wicks Field.
“We are very focused on what we’ve got to do to improve, both defensively and offensively, that’s our goal every time we step onto the field or film room is to get better,” Pittman said “We will start our game planning for Boise State come Wednesday or Thursday.”