Wildcats soccer falls in conference home opener

vufieqhndf  (Ariana Berkemeier / The Signpost)
WSU junior midfielder Marissa Cook (white) makes a sliding tackle on Northern Colorado junior forward Essence Ortiz-Laneir in Friday’s 3-1 loss.
(Ariana Berkemeier / The Signpost)

Despite the women’s soccer team dominating play on the field, the Wildcats came up short in 3-1 home loss against the visiting Northern Colorado Bears.

“There is no sugar coating it, we dominated play today,” WSU head coach Tim Crompton said. “But the three goals of Northern Colorado came off of our mistakes. We beat ourselves today.”

The team played the game using the same formation from their Big Sky conference opening road trip, which helped the team attack and defend more effectively than in recent weeks. The changes have come due to the lack of substitution possibilities they have had as a result of injuries that have been plaguing the team all season long.

The Bears opened up the the scoring early when Juliana Grover broke through the Wildcat defense and scored in a one-on-one situation in the 11th minute of play.

The Wildcats retaliated quickly when a minute later junior center back Brecken Holbrook knocked in a header off a corner kick from junior forward Mackenzie Harrison.  The game stayed consistently even for most of the first half, with the Wildcat defense holding strong until an error led to a two-person breakaway by the Bears to put them up 2-1 at the half.

The second half showed a renewed effort by the Wildcats as they out shot the Bears 13-3 and kept it cleaner, only having five fouls to the Bears’ nine. Two of the Bears received yellow cards when forward Paige Morris came crashing into red shirt freshman goalkeeper Sydnie Stokes in the 57th minute and two minutes later when Brooke Braden roughly threw a WSU player to the ground.

After 76 minutes of play the Bears sealed the deal when Adrienne Jordan broke past the Wildcat defense and made a low shot that slid right past the fingers of Stokes, putting the Bears up 3-1.

Kelsi Tatton, a red-shirt freshman who has seen increased playing time because of the team’s injury issues, was instrumental in the offensive push. Like many of the Wildcats, she was heartbroken over the loss.

“This was a tough one to lose,” Tatton said. “We tried so hard and played so well today. To come up short like we did is an absolute heartbreak for all of us.”

This is the seventh consecutive loss for the team, which has fallen to 3-9-0 on the season (0-3-0 Big Sky Conference). Despite the current string of losses, the team is focused and determined to regain the momentum set at the beginning of the season.

“We don’t make excuses as a team, we learn from our mistakes and change where it is needed,” Crompton said. “We have changed a lot and are doing all we can to be the best possible. All we ask of ourselves now is to step up and rise to the challenge.”

Charles can be found tweeting @cbowkstar_91 or cheering like a fool at any Wildcat sporting event