Thunderbirds Drop Heartbreaker to Florida Atlantic In First Home Match

SUU Athletic Strategic Communications

For the second time in as many seasons, the Southern Utah University soccer team played a non-conference match with Florida Atlantic University. This season it was the Thunderbirds’ turn to host, playing their first home match of 2017 in front of the Cedar City faithful. Despite outshooting an opponent for the first time this season, the Thunderbirds fell 3-2 in the final seconds of play.

“Hats off to FAU. They have been on the road for a while, they came out here and they fought really hard, and now they finally get to go home,” head coach Fred Thompson said. “Overall, I think we played well. It was our first game at home and I think the excitement got to us a little bit in the first half, but then we were able to settle down at halftime and we played a lot better. We created more opportunities and the goals are starting to come along.”

Ally Thimsen got the scoring started for the Thunderbirds in just the 7th minute of play. The senior headed a cross into the box from Meghan DeHerrera past the FAU goalkeeper for her first goal of the season, putting Southern Utah up 1-0 early. Thimsen is now just one goal shy of the SUU all-time goal scoring record.

“It is always nice to score, but I just want to go out there and do my job. As long as it is going into the back of the net, I don’t care if it’s me or someone else scoring it,” Thimsen said.

FAU answered in the 40th minute as Ebba Blomqvist scored her fourth goal of the season on a penalty kick, tying the game at 1-1. They would take a 2-1 lead just about two minutes later on a goal from Miracle Porter. The score would remain 2-1 at the end of the first half.

The Thunderbirds struck first again in the second half as Payton Wells scored her second goal of the season on a laser from the top of the circle in the 61st minute. DeHerrera was credited with her second assist of the game, creating the opportunity for Wells to score and make it 2-2 with under 30 minutes left to play.

Both teams turned things up in the final half hour of play, trading shots back and forth, but neither would be able to break through until the final 20 seconds. Porter scored her second goal of the game for the Owls in the 89th minute, giving FAU the 3-2 win over the Thunderbirds.

“I thought that was a great game to prep us for conference play,” Thompson said. “We will be competing against teams with that size and that physicality and we showed that we can compete with them.”

The Thunderbirds will start Big Sky conference play on the road next weekend against Portland State and Montana.

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