CEDAR CITY, Utah – After a two and a half hour weather delay due to lightning and heavy rain in the area, the Southern Utah soccer team picked up their first win of the season Thursday evening, shutting out the UNLV Rebels 2-0.
“I saw a lot of fight today and that was the important thing. After coming off of a weekend where we were kind of leaking goals, it is always nice to have a clean sheet,” head coach Fred Thompson said. “People stepped up at the right time, defenders covered at the right time, and we closed it out the right way. I thought overall it was a very strong performance from everybody.”
The Thunderbirds wasted no time getting on the board as both goals were scored in the first 10 minutes of play. Taylor Harris was the first to score for SUU, putting her first goal of the season past a diving UNLV goalkeeper after the ball found its way to her feet off of a deflection in the seventh minute.
MaKenzie Lawrence also got in on the action about two minutes later, taking the ball around UNLV’s goalkeeper and tapping it in for her first of the season, putting the Thunderbirds up 2-0 early.
“I think we started better than they did and we were able to surprise them, but at the same time we got a little nervous,” Thompson said. “We had about four or five other really good opportunities to roll somebody in and go straight to goal. I’m never going to turn down a 2-0 lead, but we need to learn how to handle it better and extend that lead when we get our opportunities.”
The Rebels were not without opportunities in the match as they rattled off 18 shots, but the Thunderbird defense stood tall for the full 90 minutes.
Goalkeeper Brianna Aldridge earned the first win and first shutout of her career, making 10 saves in the match.
The Thunderbirds will now look ahead to Sunday’s match with the Nevada Wolf Pack. the match is set to begin at 1:00 p.m. at Thunderbird Soccer Field.
SUU Athletics Strategic Communication