Cowgirls Claim 1-0 Border Win; Tie for 1st in MW
From the desk of Amy Dambo
LARAMIE – Freshman Adalyn Vergara scored a goal in the 76th minute Friday afternoon, lifting the Wyoming soccer team (12-3-4 overall, 7-2-2 MW) to a 1-0 victory over Colorado State (6-9-4 overall, 3-6-2 MW), giving the Cowrils a school record 12 wins overall. The seven league wins equaled the second-best total in school history, left the Cowgirls tied for the league title, the first time the Cowgirls have finished atop the league.
“This is really special being Wyoming Soccer’s first championship ever,” head coach Pete Cuadrado. “This is a testament to how close our team is on and off the field. We are grateful, but we still have goals to achieve next week in San Jose (at the MW tournament).”
With the wind being a factor in the first half, neither team came up with a shot in the first 20 minutes. Finally, the Cowgirls registered one with 21:39 minutes shown on the clock. UW maintained pressure for the remainder of the period and ended the half with a shot advantage of 5-2 over the visiting Rams.
“Obviously, there was a lot on the line for us, second place or a share of the conference championship and not to mention the Border War,” Cuadrado said. “It was a big game but I think the team responded well to that moment.”
The Cowgirls continued to push the pace out of the break with the wind now at their backs applying constant pressure on the Rams. Wyoming would earn more chances on goal and held most of the possession in the Colorado State half of the field. Even with the large amount of opportunities in second half the Cowgirls struggled to find a breakthrough goal that would help them secure the win over their rivals. The best chance came in the 72nd minute when Summer Taube forced an acrobatic save from Rams goalkeeper Hunter Peifer at point blank range.
That shot sparked a larger number of quality chances from the Cowgirls as they continually earned corners. The Cowgirls finally got a breakthrough in the 76th minute when a corner came in from the right side from senior Jessie Gentle. The ball bounced around off multiple heads and fell to the foot of Vergara who hit into the back of the net from 10 yards out. The goal was Vergara’s third of the season.
“Our last three games we’ve played full 90 minute games and I think that happened again today,” Cuardado. We probably could have snuck in another goal in there but we will take it. It shows a lot of maturity that this team has. It took us a while to find that first goal, but we were creating those chances and eventually one of those will make it in. Kuddos to our team of playing really well, at a high level and ultimately getting it to go.”
Indiana Asimus and Brittney Stark had a game-high three shots with two of Starks being on target. Freshman Savannah Warner and senior Taylor Burton were the only two Cowgirls to play all 90 minutes. Wyoming outshot the Rams 13-5 and had 13 corner kicks compared to one for Colorado State. Junior Christina Salazar played 45 minutes and registered one save while freshman Hannah Lee played 45 minutes and made two saves in the contest.
The Cowgirls will head to San Jose for the Mountain West Women’s Soccer Tournament. Wyoming is assured of a first-round bye and will begin play on Thursday in San Jose, Calif.