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The women’s soccer team wrapped up non-conference play on Sunday with a 1-0 win over in-state rival Utah State University, completing the program’s first winning non-conference season since 2005.
It served as a bounce-back win for the Wildcats after a 4-0 loss to the University of Utah just a week earlier, as well as a momentum-shifter heading into conference play this week.
The victory over the Aggies was a little sweeter and maybe meant a little more for sophomore forward Stacy Bair. This game was an opportunity for the Cache Valley native to show her hometown crowd what she’s made of.
“I wanted to score in this game more than anything,” Bair said. “I knew that to prove myself, I would have to come out strong and show my home town that I’m still the same Stacy Bair.”
Bair scored the game-winning and only goal of the match in the 45th minute, crushing it left to right and into the nylon, and she said she wouldn’t have had it any other way.
“I seriously couldn’t have thought of any better way or place to score a game-winner for us,” Bair said.
Head coach Tim Crompton said he was pleased with the play of his team.
“I was impressed with how we started the game today,” he said. “The girls dictated the pace early on.”
Crompton also complimented the team’s effort throughout the game leading up to Bair’s goal.
“The goal we scored was a nice finish, and we were able to stay organized on defense the entire game,” he said. “It’s a good win before heading into conference.”
WSU took 10 shots against USU, four more than the rival team, and half were on goal. Of the Aggies’ six shots, none were on goal, helping sophomore goalkeeper Danielle MacKay earn her first career shutout with the Wildcats.
“We all did really well as a team. We played around them a lot,” Bair said. “Both teams were coming off a rough previous game, so we knew we had to come out on top and together as a team, and we did just that.”
The Wildcats will now head into conference play this week with two home games, starting Thursday, when they will take on the Grizzlies of Montana State University at 3 p.m. at WSU. MSU is 3-3-3, most recently coming off of a 2-0 win over the University of Nevada.
WSU and MSU have had two of the same former opponents this season in Utah Valley University and the University of Wyoming. WSU managed to beat both teams by a goal, whereas MSU tied with UW in a goalless match and defeated UVU 3-1.
Saturday’s game will be at noon against Eastern Washington University, which has struggled through conference play, winning only two of its first nine games. The Eagles are coming off of a 3-0 win over North Dakota State University and will play Idaho State University on Thursday before making the trip to Ogden. The only common opponent WSU and EWU have had is Washington State University, which beat them both by a score of 1-0.