Winless in WAC
At halftime the game was tied 1-1, but the Redhawks’ offense overpowered the Vandals in the second half as Idaho fell 5-1 to Seattle University Sunday at Championship Field as the teams met for the first time as WAC foes.
The game was scoreless until the 15th minute when Seattle U forward Stephanie Verdoia scored off an assist from Melissa Busque. The Vandals responded five minutes later with a goal by sophomore midfielder Katie Baran with the assist from senior midfielder Jill Flockhart.
“Jill put a perfect cross in and Katie made a fantastic diving header,” Idaho coach Pete Showler said.
Baran’s goal was her third of the season and Flockhart notched her third assist of the year.
Both teams locked into a defensive battle for the rest of the half and went into halftime with the score tied at one apiece.
After halftime, everything went downhill for the Vandals.
“It just evaporated in the second half,” Showler said. “We had some fantastic momentum in the first half, but it just didn’t carry through into the second. We just weren’t hungry enough and they were hungrier than we were.”
Seattle U scored less than two minutes into the second half and then again in the 56th to go up 3-1. Idaho tried to respond with a header by freshman Meli Cortez, but the ball hit the crossbar. Senior Erica Hart put the rebound in the back of the net, but was ruled offside, keeping Idaho at one goal.
The Redhawks pulled away with two goals in the final 10 minutes to put the game away at 5-1. They improved to 7-5-1 overall and 2-0-1 in WAC play, while the Vandals fell to 3-11-1 and 0-2-1 in the WAC.
The five goals scored by Seattle U are the most Idaho has allowed in WAC play since 2007 and the second most they have allowed this season.
The Redhawks outshot the Vandals 10-4 in the second half and 14-10 in the game. Idaho was held under two goals for the 12th time this season.
After a tough four-game road stretch, the Vandals hope to rebound at home against San Jose State Thursday at Guy Wicks Field. Idaho will finish the season with four of its last five matches at home.
“We know that we have five games left and plenty to play for,” Showler said. “We showed in the first half that we can compete with the best teams. We’ve just got to stick with it and I know we will.”
Stephan Wiebe can be reached at email@example.com