Aug. 26, 2011
OREM, Utah -
The University of Wyoming Cowgirl Soccer team (1-2-0 overall) picked up its first win of the 2011 season on Friday defeating the Utah Valley Wolverines (1-2-0 overall) 2-0 in Orem, Utah. Cowgirls Kasey Curtis and Kayla Davis scored second half goals giving UW a 2-0 victory.
"I think we played with a lot more urgency and confidence tonight," Wyoming head coach Danny Sanchez said.
The first half action began very quickly for the Cowgirls as they were able to take four shots in the first seven minutes of the game, but all four shots were blocked by the Wolverine defense. Utah Valley answered Wyoming's early pressure by coming back and putting two shots on goal, forcing UW keeper Courtney Merkle to make back-to-back saves. The Cowgirls and the Wolverines traded shots in the closing minutes of the first half, but neither could put in the go-ahead goal. As the teams went to the locker rooms at halftime the game remained as it started, 0-0.
"The first half we were a little indecisive, but had some good chances to score," Sanchez added.
With neither team gaining an advantage in the first half both teams were looking for the go-ahead goal. The Wolverines came out of the locker room with the early second half pressure putting a shot on goal in the 48th minute, but Merkle had the answer keeping it out. The Cowgirls matched the Wolverines pressure taking three shots and putting one on goal before they were able to break the tie. In the 66th minute, Cowgirl freshman Kasey Curtis intercepted a pass in the UVU box and put a shot in the back of the Wolverine net. Curtis was unassisted on her goal and it was the first of her early Cowgirl career. Wyoming kept the pressure on Utah Valley and was able to put the game out of reach 12 minutes later. In the 78th minute, Cowgirl Liz O'Reilly passed the ball to the left of the UVU goal box to Kayla Davis who took a shot and put the ball in the right corner of the Wolverine net, past keeper Lauren Sack. Davis' goal gave UW a 2-0 advantage, and the Cowgirls hung on to secure their first victory of the season.
"Kasey and Kayla both scored very nice goals tonight," Sanchez said. "We really defended well after we scored our goals. Once we gained the advantage we really limited their scoring opportunities."
The Cowgirls out shot the Wolverines 19-14, while putting four shots on goal on their way to victory. UW keeper Merkle recorded eight saves in her first shutout of the 2011 season. Redshirt Freshman Sara Paul led the Cowgirls in shots with eight.
Wyoming Soccer will now travel to Boulder, Colo., on Sunday, Aug. 26 to take on the Colorado Buffaloes with kickoff set for 1 p.m. MT.