By Cory McKendrick, USU Eastern Sports Information Contributor
The Utah State University Eastern women’s soccer team was in an offensive groove after their second consecutive home conference weekend. The Eagles played host to the Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) Lizards on Thursday at the Castleview Hospital soccer field.
Ashley Brindley paced the Eagles offense on the day, dropping a season and career high four goals past the TMCC defense. Brindley’s first two came off of assists by Morgan Cragun. In the 14th minute of the first half, Cragun lined up for a corner kick and connected with Brindley for the header goal. Just a mere thirty seconds later, also in the 14th minute, Cragan played a ball to the middle from the right wing and the Eagles found themselves up 2-0 after Brindley finished the one-timer from the center of the box.
Taking the 2-0 lead into halftime, the Lady Eagles came out of the break still on the offensive attack. “We played with a lot of energy, especially out of the second half,” head coach Ammon Bennett said. “Sometimes, a 2-0 lead isn’t enough in this conference, so it was great to see our girls put the game away early in the second half.”
Four minutes into the half, the high energy Eagles found themselves with another scoring chance, this time coming off a TMCC foul in the box on Morgan Haag. Brindley stepped up for the penalty kick and got the ball past the keeper for her hat trick goal.
Leading 3-0, the 11th minute brought more fast-paced offense. Marissa Cribbs found an open Cragun to make it 4-0. Again, just 30 seconds later, Evalyn Ledezma found Cribbs with open net in her sights. Cribbs converted on the goal to increase the lead to 5-0. The final goal came from Brindley to cap off her brilliant day on the pitch.
The Lady Eagles then played host to the #5 Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) Bruins on Saturday, Oct. 5. In a hard-fought game, SLCC came out on top 3-1.
“We couldn’t find much offensive rhythm, and against a solid team like SLCC, we unfortunately need to be better in those aspects,” said head coach Ammon Bennett.
USU Eastern came out with a lot of energy in the first half regardless of the lack of rhythm offensively. They struck first on offense after a hand-ball penalty in the box by one of the Bruin defenders. This set up a penalty kick situation for Brooke Stoker. Stoker remained perfect on PK chances, converting on her third of the season.
The rest of the offense on display came from SLCC. They scored three unanswered goals, despite a valiant effort from the Eagles, to put the game away 3-1.
The Eagles will be back on the pitch on Thursday, Oct. 10 as they travel to Orem for a friendly against Utah Valley University club team. They pick up conference play again for their last home game of the season on Castleview Hospital soccer field. Join them for a celebration of the sophomores as they face Colorado Northwestern Community College at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12.