Salazar Pitches a Shutout; Cowgirls Soccer Knocks off Iowa, 1-0

From the desk of Amy Dambro

LARAMIE  – The Wyoming soccer team (4-1-2 overall) got back on the winning track with a 1-0 victory over the Iowa Hawkeyes (4-2-1) on Sunday afternoon.

Wyoming was the aggressor early with three shots while the Hawkeyes had one from midfielder Natalie Winters. The Cowgirls best opportunity came in the 23rd minute of the first half. Freshman forward Sekoya Romero was fouled in the penalty box which warranted a penalty shot for Wyoming.

Senior defender Taylor Burton would bury the shot past goalkeeper Cora Meyers to give the Cowgirls a 1-0 advantage. It was the first goal of the season for Burton and the sixth of her career, and the game-winner.

Iowa would turn it up a notch in the final ten minutes of the half. They would out shoot the Cowgirls 6-2 with four on goal. Senior goalkeeper Cristina Salazar answered the call coming up with four of her career-high seven saves, including a shot by Skylar Alward with the clock winding down in the half.  Despite being outshot 7-6.

“Cristina has been outstanding all year," coach Pete Cuardado said. "She has worked really hard for four years, got her shot this season and is taking advantage of it.”

The Hawkeyes continued strong play out of the break and had three good scoring chances, which again Salazar stepped up and stopped two of them. At the 68th minute, the Cowgirls looking for an insurance goal and had shots from freshman defender Adalyn Vergara and Romero that were blocked and wide. The intensity ramped up in the final ten minutes of action with a big push by Iowa, but the Cowgirl defense held strong to preserve the shutout.

“I feel like we came out really well and executed our game plan,” head coach Pete Cuadrado said. “Kuddos to our players. They really did a tremendous job of following the plan and it created chances for us. For us, it was nice to have it go our way.”     

Vergara had a team high three shots for UW, while Romero had two shots with one on goal. Burton and fellow defenders Alyssa Murray and Savannah Warner, along with Salazar, each logged all 90 minutes.

Iowa was led by Winters with four shots with two on goal in 61 minutes of action. Forward Emma Tokuyama and Alward added two shots. The Hawkeyes outshot the Cowgirls 14-9 and had the 3-1 advantage on the corner kicks.

“I feel like we came out really well and executed our game plan,” Cuadrado said. “Kuddos to our players. They really did a tremendous job of following the plan and it created chances for us. For us, it was nice to have it go our way.”     

Vergara had a team high three shots for UW, while Romero had two shots with one on goal. Burton and fellow defenders Alyssa Murray and Savannah Warner each logged all 90 minutes. Salazar had a career high seven saves in 90 minutes of action. Iowa was led by Winters with four shots with two on goal in 61 minutes of action. Forward Emma Tokuyama and Alward added two shots. The Hawkeyes outshot the Cowgirls 14-9 and had the 3-1 advantage on the corner kicks.

“Cristina has been outstanding all year. She has worked really hard for four years, got her shot this season and is taking advantage of it.”

The Cowgirls will close out non-conference action on Friday against the Southern Utah Thunderbirds. Match time is scheduled for 4 p.m. MT. in Cedar City, Utah