LARAMIE, Wyo. (Oct. 13, 2017) â€“ Wyoming soccer jumped out to an early lead with a goal in the 12th minute, but three second-half goals from Utah State would deliver the Cowgirls their first loss at the Louis S. Madrid Sports Complex this season.
Wyoming (7-6-2, 3-3-1 MW) grabbed the first goal of the game on a perfect sequence that started with a cross from redshirt junior midfielder Brittney Stark. The ball was flicked on by senior forward Alisha Bass to the far post where sophomore forward Michaela Stark put away the opportunity. The Aggies (7-5-3, 2-3-2 MW) would outshoot the Cowgirls 8-4 in the opening frame, but could not put away any of their chances.
The second half proved to be a different story, as Utah State put home three of its eight shots to bury Wyoming. The equalizer came in the 54th minute on a quick free kick from senior forward Wesley Hamblin. Her pass found senior forward Bailee Hammond, who dribbled into the 18-yard box and lifted a high shot past the reach of senior goalkeeper Georgia Rowntree. The game remained tied for nearly half an hour, before the Aggies gained the lead in the 81st minute. The same pair of Hamblin and Hammond connected once again, this time on a pass across the face of goal that Hammond easily knocked into the net.
With less than four minutes remaining in the game, a controversial penalty kick was awarded to UW, giving the Cowgirls a chance to pull even. Brittney Stark was forced to stand over the penalty spot for upwards of five minutes in the aftermath of the call, ultimately sailing her attempt wide of the right post. Freshman midfielder Ashley Cardozo, Utah Stateâ€™s leading scorer, put the game out of reach with the Aggiesâ€™ third goal of the afternoon in the 88th minute.
â€œI honestly felt good with the first sixty minutes, we were creating chances and getting good counterattacks,â€ UW head coach Pete Cuadrado said. â€œObviously we started playing safer once we got the lead, but then it was just a big collapse. The bottom line is we have to put 90 minutes together and it comes down to organization for us.â€
Michaela Starkâ€™s goal was her second of the season, while Brittney Stark and Bass each logged their second assist of the year. Rowntree recorded seven saves for the fourth-straight game, matching her season best. The loss was Wyomingâ€™s first at home this season, and the first time the Cowgirls have surrendered three goals in a game.
Wyoming closes out the weekend with a Sunday matchup against Boise State for Faculty and Staff Day. Kick-off is slated for 1 p.m., and live video and stats are available at GoWyo.com.