April 23, 2013
LARAMIE, Wyo. - Returning seven starters and 15 letterwinners from a successful 2012 season, the Cowgirl soccer team is enjoying a strong spring season by winning five of its last six games and tying the other, not allowing a single goal during the span.
"It's been a good spring so far," said Wyoming coach Pete Cuadrado. "We're getting more consistent in our attack. We're pretty beat up right now and have had some starters out in recent weeks, but it was nice to see others step up and do well against good competition. The conditioning is paying off and they're making good decisions. They're also doing a lot on their own outside of team conditioning that is making a difference."
Playing two games in Salt Lake City last Saturday, the Cowgirls defeated Utah State by a 1-0 score as junior Kristin Howard scored in the second half off a Sara Paul corner kick. In the ensuing game against Utah, the Cowgirls and Utes played to a 0-0 draw in a tightly contested match.
"Going into last Saturday, we knew it would be a challenge," said Wyoming coach Pete Cuadrado. "To play two games in one day against two good programs in Utah State and Utah is a tough task for where we are at as a team due to injuries and graduation. All of our players rose to the occasion, and we were happy with our performances."
Wyoming traveled to the Colorado Mesa Tournament in Grand Junction, Colo., two weeks ago for tilts with Southern Utah and Fort Lewis. Against the Thunderbirds on Saturday, Apr. 13, both teams went scoreless in the opening period before the Cowgirls increased the tempo in the second half and won the game on a Jennifer Paul goal with 20 minutes remaining.
Facing Fort Lewis the following Sunday, the Cowgirls came close to scoring on several opportunities throughout the game before junior Kasey Curtis was able to put a goal into the lower right corner of the net with 10 minutes left for a 1-0 victory.
"Against Southern Utah we knew we would have to work hard," Cuadrado said. "They are a hard-working team that doesn't quit playing until the final whistle. Our team worked hard both in the attack and defense, and in the end our goal came from several players not giving up on a play.
"Against Fort Lewis we made some changes to how we played. We were really happy with how the players took the changes and executed them. We had to work hard against a good Fort Lewis team."
Wyoming hosted the Cowgirl Spring Tournament on Saturday, April 6, and earned victories over quality Division II schools UC-Colorado Springs and University of Mary, assistant coach Levi Evans' former school. The Cowgirls earned a 2-0 victory over UCCS by way of a Liz O'Reilly free kick and Mollee Ramsay penalty kick later in the game.
After a scoreless opening 40 minutes against U-Mary, Wyoming came alive in the second half to achieve an impressive 6-0 win. Junior Kristin Howard started it off two minutes in by scoring on a header off a Sara Paul corner kick before Jennifer Paul scored off a Sara Paul assist. Sara Paul then scored two goals herself to up the lead to 4-0, with sophomore Kajal Parmar earning a goal moments later for a 5-0 advantage. Sara Paul ended the game with another goal to log three total goals and two assists in a 6-0 victory.
The spring slate began March 10 with a matchup with Northern Colorado, which the Cowgirls battled in three 40-minute periods. The two schools fought to a 1-1-1 finish.
"We opened against Northern Colorado, and didn't play our best. We challenged our players after that game, and they responded. We have only gotten better this spring, and that's very exciting.
"The team is buying in and getting more and more comfortable," Cuadrado said. "We haven't given up a quality chance in four games, which gives confidence to our defense. Teams have had chances here and there, but we haven't given up any goals in those games. A lot of that has come because the girls are just working hard."
The 2013 spring season concludes with the Alumni Game scheduled for this Sunday, April 28, at the Indoor Practice Facility. Open to the public, the game is slated for a 1 p.m. start.