The Southern Utah University soccer team kicked off Big Sky Conference play Friday afternoon in Portland, Oregon against the Portland State Vikings. Despite solid defense and a few stellar opportunities created by the offense, the Thunderbirds were shutout 2-0 by the Vikings.
“There is usually a mix of people excited to play and a little bit of anxiety that come with your first conference game, but I felt like we started out pretty well for our first game,” head coach Fred Thompson said. “I thought we were very solid defensively in the first half and we created a few good opportunities. They just happened to get there first and unfortunately we just couldn’t squeeze one over the line today.”
The two teams played a scoreless 70 minutes to pen the game. Neither defense would give in despite well-created opportunities from each team. MaKenzie Lawrence broke through the Viking backline in just the fourth minute of play, creating a one-on-one battle between her and the goalkeeper. She took her shot, but the Viking goalkeeper Abbie Faingold made the save.
In the 17th minute, PSU had a good chance to score, but Alanna Carbonaro made a fantastic save of her own to keep the game scoreless. When the first half came to a close, the Vikings had outshout the Thunderbirds 9-3, but the score was still 0-0.
The Vikings were the first team to break through when Katie Forsee scored her Big Sky-leading sixth goal of the season on a chip shot from about eight yards out. They made it 2-0 about five minutes later on a goal from freshman Diamond Quinn.
Carbonaro finished with career-high 10 saves on the day.
The Thunderbirds will continue Big Sky play Sunday in Missoula when they take on the Montana Grizzlies. Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m.
SUU Athletic Strategic Communications