Cowgirls Soccer Closes out Non-Conference With win at Southern Utah

From the desk of Amy Dambro

CEDAR CITY, Utah — The Wyoming soccer team (5-1-2 overall) closed out the non-conference season with a 2-1 victory over the Southern Utah Thunderbirds (1-7-0) on Friday afternoon. It’s the most non-conference victories since the 2012 season when the program won seven.

Wyoming was the aggressor with four shots in the first 18 minutes but nothing to show for it. Senior Annika Clayton had back to back shots in the 18th minute to give the Cowgirls its best chance but one went wide and the other was saved by goalkeeper Brianna Aldridge.

Despite being outshot, Southern Utah got on the board first. With 28:49 on the clock, a pass from Brielle Bourgeois to MaKenzie Lawrence would make its way to pass goalie Cristina Salazar to give the Thunderbirds a 1-0 lead. The Cowgirls weren’t able to get another shot off after the goal as it would be 1-0 in favor of SUU after the first 45 minutes of action.

The Cowgirls continued to push the pace in the early going of the second half. It would finally pay off with 67:00 minutes on the clock. Freshman Sekoya Romero pushed it past goalie Rian Kasner with the assist from Clayton to even up the score. It was her second goal of the season.

Over the next several minutes, both teams had a couple of scoring opportunities but nothing to show for it. In the 84th minute, a free kick from Alyssa Murray was punched around by several Wyoming players in the box and it would eventually find its way to the back of the goal with an own goal off Southern Utah. Ultimately that would end up giving the Cowgirls the 2-1 victory. 

“Definitely not our best game, but it was good to find a way to win,” head coach Pete Cuadrado said. “Give Southern Utah credit, they battled and are a tough team at home. In the first half we struggled executing the game plan. I thought our second half we did a much better job and the score line reflects that.”   

Four players had two shots each on goal while Clayton had the lone assist in the contest. Senior Taylor Burton and fellow defenders Jessie Gentle, Alyssa Murray and Savannah Warner each logged all 90 minutes. Salazar and freshman Hannah Lee each played a half in goal. Wyoming outshot the Thunderbirds 12-5 with four shots on goal. UW had two corner kicks in the match as well.

The Cowgirls open the 2018 Mountain West season on the road — at San Diego State on Friday, and at New Mexico two days later.