LOGAN, Utah – Two second-half goals led the Utah State soccer team to a 2-1 win over Portland State in the Aggies home opener at Chuck and Gloria Bell Soccer Field Sunday afternoon.With the win, Utah State improves to 2-0-0 this season. This is the third-straight season that the Aggies have started the season with a 2-0-0 record. The win also makes USU unbeaten in its last five matches against Big Sky Conference teams. The Aggies defeated Big Sky opponent Weber State, 1-0, on Friday at Rio Tinto Stadium.”That was a well-earned win, because that game was all over the place. We had a really tough time in the first half finding our rhythm. We came out that first 10 minutes [of the second half] settling the ball down and created the goal scoring chances that left us up, 2-1,” USU head coach Heather Cairns said. “What I wasn’t so thrilled about was after that second goal we kind of let them back in the game. But when you play someone with a direct style like they do; it is difficult because we play a possession style. They are complete opposites.”The Vikings got on the board first in the 36th minute of the first half with a hard-fought goal. Portland State’s Megan Martin started the rally with a blast that hit the cross bar. Ariel Snyder took the deflection and headed the ball past USU goalkeeper Molli Merrill to give the Vikings a 1-0 lead.The half ended with PSU clinging to its 1-0 lead. Portland State out shot Utah State 6-2 in the first half, while both teams had one corner kick in the first 45 minutes.The Aggies came out more organized and aggressive in the second half. Sophomore forward Mari Miyashiro tied the score at 1-1 in the 53rd minute. Miyashiro took a deflection off of a Viking defender and launched a 16-yard shot past PSU goalkeeper Lainey Hulsizer to even out the score.”I think we did well, but we could have done better,” Miyashiro said. “We played a lot better in the second half; we were kicking the ball around a lot more. We gave a lot of effort. Coach just told us that we were capable of coming back from 1-0. We knew we could do it if we just worked hard, settled the ball and passed it around a little more.”Utah State took the lead in the 53rd minute when senior forward Shantel Flanary scored her second game-winning goal in as many matches. Flanary took a long pass from senior defender Summer Tillotson and beat Hulsizer for the goal. On the play, Flanary and Hulzier collided. The PSU goalkeeper was replaced by Melissa Ferguson who did not allow another Aggie goal. With assists in both of the Aggies’ wins this season, Tillotson has now passed her point total from last season. Last season, she had one assist for one point.The Vikings did not go away quietly, fighting up until the final horn. PSU ended the match out-shooting USU, 12-10.The Aggies will now travel to the Centennial State to take on Colorado College on Aug. 26 and Northern Colorado on Aug. 28.Fans can follow USU soccer at http://twitter.com/USUsoccer and Utah State athletics at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics.-USU-
Free News Delivery by Email
Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!