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Wildcats come up short in soccer season finale to Bengals

Senior Kendra Smith prepares to kick the ball down the field. In her final game, Smith and the Wildcats came up short in a 2-1 loss to Idaho State.  (Kaitlyn Johnson / The Signpost)
Senior Kendra Smith prepares to kick the ball down the field. In her final game, Smith and the Wildcats came up short in a 2-1 loss to Idaho State.
(Kaitlyn Johnson / The Signpost)

On a warm afternoon at Weber State, the women’s soccer team capped off its season with a 2-1 loss to the Idaho State Bengals.

“We have done a lot of winning here over the years,” said coach Tim Crompton, “This season, and this last game, has shown us that sometimes you just have to lose.”

The Wildcat defense held strong for the entire first half, only allowing the Bengals three shots. Of those shots, only one was on frame for the goal but was easily saved by the Wildcat goal keeper. On the offensive side of the ball, the team was able to keep possession forward and put pressure on the Bengal defense, putting forth seven shots with three of them being on frame for the goal.

The Wildcats continued the pressure into the second half where they were able to convert one of their attacks into points. 49 minutes into the game, junior forward Stacy Bair made a break down the left side of the field where she sent the ball flying to the goal, where senior Mackenzie Peck was able to head the pass into the goal giving the advantage to the Wildcats, putting them up 1-0 over the Bengals.

In the following minutes, the Wildcats almost converted again, when a kick from Peck went bouncing off the crossbar.

“It was me playing at the right place at the right time that made that goal,” said Peck of her performance. “I am glad to have made that goal, but the one off the crossbar has been a problem all this season, so that is a frustration for me.”

The Wildcat defense was able to maintain that lead for 15 minutes of the second half, but the Bengals soon responded. After 66 minutes of play, Whitney Peterson made a break through the Wildcat defense and made a shot from the left that soared past sophomore goal keeper Sydnie Stokes.

The Wildcats tried to regain control, but the Bengals struck again in the 72nd minute when a failed clearance kick from the Wildcat defense allowed Maria Sanchez of the Bengals to convert that into another goal, putting Idaho State up 2-1. That goal proved to be the game-winning shot for ISU, handing the Wildcats their second loss in a row.

“We really have been fighting hard these last few weeks,” said senior midfielder Ryley Hansen. “These girls are so much better than what our record shows. I hope that these girls are able to pick themselves up after this season and bounce back next season and win it all.”

Coach Crompton agreed with his seniors, and spoke of that same hope for the next season.

“There is nothing more we can do for this season, it’s in the books,” Crompton said. “This off season we will focus on both getting healthy and staying healthy so we can take back the title next year.”

The final standings for the Wildcats puts them at 5-13-1 (2-7-1 Big Sky) and are eliminated from all postseason play.

Charles can be found tweeting @cbowkstar_91 or cheering his heart out at every game possible.

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