By Cory McKendrick, USU Eastern Sports Information Contributor
USU Eastern women’s soccer broke a five-game winning streak and suffered their first loss of the season at the hands of #5 (NJCAA Women’s soccer national rankings) Salt Lake Community College (SLCC)on Sept. 12. The Lady Eagles were on the road at Zion’s Bank Stadium, coming up short by a score of 3-1.
SLCC started the scoring early in the first half with nicely placed through ball that led to a goal coming in the 15th minute of the first 45. Eagle keeper Meg Edwards kept SLCC at bay for the rest of the first half after allowing the first goal scored with her in the net this season.
Coming out of the half, USUE possessed the ball better than they did initially in the first half. Head coach Ammon Bennett said, “We had a good portion of time where we possessed the ball nicely and had some really good opportunities to score that unfortunately we didn’t convert on.”
Trailing 2-0, Evalyn Ledezma and Brooke Stoker working together with a give and go route forced a foul in the box by SLCC, giving the Eagles a penalty kick. Stoker finished the play and converted on the PK, bringing USUE back within striking distance.
SLCC added another goal late in the second half to put the game out of reach for the Eagles, breaking the undefeated start to the 2019 fall campaign.
The Lady Eagles finished their first conference road trip weekend on Sept. 14 with a nail-biter win against newcomers to the Scenic West Athletic Conference, Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC). After a delayed start time from the USU Eastern men’s game versus TMCC that went into overtime, the women’s team won the match on a game-winning penalty kick in the second overtime.
After a slow, back and forth start for both teams in the first half, the score was knotted at 0. With 15 seconds left before the horn, Heather Moore intercepted a TMCC pass and passed up field to Ashley Brindley who led Logan Duran to the box with only the keeper to beat. Duran finished the goal right before time expired in the half.
With a 1-0 lead, the Eagles picked the offense back up quickly out of the break. Brooke Stoker took the ball from a TMCC midfielder and dribbled to just outside the 18 and played a ball to Brindley, who found the back of the net with a beauty of a sliding goal.
TMCC didn’t go down without a fight and added their own goals toward the end of the second half to tie the game, the first coming off a penalty inside the box with 15 minutes remaining in regulation. The Lizards tied the game in the final three minutes, forcing an overtime period.
Still battling to break the tie at two, the first overtime period ended with the same score. In the second overtime period, TMCC committed a foul in the box, setting up the game-winning penalty kick that was converted by Stoker to give the Eagles a 3-2 victory on the road.
“We again gave ourselves a lot of opportunities to score once we got our feet underneath us in the second half,” said coach Ammon Bennett. “We got more comfortable and aside from a small lapse at the end of the second period, we did what we needed to do to come out on top. It was nice to get a win on the road and nice to get our first conference win of the season.”
Catch the Eagles in action again next Saturday, Sept. 21, as they travel to square off with Colorado Northwestern Community College. The match is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.