Oct. 24, 2009
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The final home match of the 2009 season didn't go the way the Wyoming Cowgirl soccer team had hoped, as they fell to Utah 2-1 on a cold and windy Saturday afternoon at the Louis S. Madrid Sports Complex.
With the loss, the Cowgirls fall to 9-6-3 overall and 3-2-1 in the Mountain West Conference. Utah improves to 8-8-2 overall and 3-2-1 in league play.
After a scoreless first half, the offense came to life and the Cowgirls drew first blood. At the 56:47 mark, Nicole Rice took a pass from UW goalkeeper Courtney Merkle and then Carmen Blume and went on a breakaway. Rice scored her third goal of the season from 15 yards out by beating the Utah keeper one-on-one.
Unfortunately for the Cowgirls, Utah answered quickly and tied the game at the 62:57 mark. On the play, Lauren Hair scored on a pass from Allie Wisner and then Zoe Van Gorder.
After both teams battled back and forth for just over 15 minutes, Utah broke the tie at the 78:07 mark. Kelly Isleib drilled a shot in the upper right corner of the UW net from 35 yards out. Natalie Young assisted on the goal, which ended up being the game winner.
The Cowgirls outshot Utah 2-0 over the final 12 minutes, but were unable to get an equalizer.
"Going into halftime, we felt pretty good about the way we were playing," Wyoming head coach Danny Sanchez said. "Then, we got a real nice goal and took the lead early in the second half. For whatever reason, after that goal we seemed to relax and you can't do that against a team like Utah. You can't give dangerous players like the ones they have any room, which is what we did. They responded with two goals."
In the match, Utah outshot Wyoming 13-8. Wyoming goalkeeper Courtney Merkle made three saves, while Utah goalie Hannah Turpen made five saves.
Saturday marked a special day for four Cowgirl seniors who were playing the final home match of their careers in the Louis S. Madrid Sports Complex. Kerstyn Etheridge, Morgan Johnson, Emily Layton and Emma Wilson were each honored prior to the beginning of the match.
The Cowgirls, who have already guaranteed themselves a spot in the 2009 MWC Championship, will play one more regular-season match next Saturday. The Cowgirls will travel to Provo, Utah to take on conference-leading BYU at 1 p.m. (MT).
"We have one more match against a very good BYU team next week, which we need to regroup for," Sanchez added. "We need to put today's game behind us and learn from our mistakes. In practice this week, as well as our game with BYU, we need to play better and build some momentum that can take us into the Mountain West Championship."