After a rollercoaster weekend of mixed results, the Idaho soccer team is preparing for its second showing against the Grand Canyon Antelopes Sunday in Phoenix, Ariz.
The Vandals struggled offensively in their last two games, getting out-shot two to one. But the Vandals won on Friday with a shut out against Utah Valley, due in large part to the goal keeping.
The one aspect of the Vandal game that shined through the entire weekend was the defense and the stellar goal keeping by sophomore goalkeeper Marina Siegl. Siegl was credited with 20 saves in two matches over the weekend.
“I was not really happy about the game (Sunday) … it’s nice when I have something to do in the back but we should just play forward, we didn’t go very good at attacking,” Siegl said.
Last weekend was the first set of games in which Siegl did not split the time in front of the goal with freshman Torell Stewart. Siegl played for 82 minutes of the Friday game before being taken out for the last eight minutes. She then played the full 90 minutes on Sunday for the first time this season.
“It is like with any player in any position, whoever is standing out in that position (plays) and if necessary we will make those adjustments and that is what we did,” Idaho coach Pete Showler said.
The last time Idaho and Grand Canyon met on the pitch was for Idaho’s WAC opener on Sept. 22. Idaho beat Grand Canyon 3-1 clinching its first win of the season.
Showler said he is expecting to see a team that is hungrier and is going to play harder to get back on even ground with Idaho this weekend.
“They got their first (conference) win on Sunday so their hopes are going to be high … we have played each other now so they know what we do and we know what they do,” Showler said. “They play a better brand of soccer than we had heard and have very good athletes. They will want to prove something so we have to go down there and do what we need to do.”
Freshman forward Alyssa Pease said the Vandals need to show more aggression while pressuring the goal. In the two games the Vandals played last weekend, the team had mixed results on offense, totaling 11 shots on Friday but only two on Sunday.
“A lot of movement helps a lot, getting those diagonal runs to get the ball through the defense,” Pease said. “We were playing a 4-3-3 in both (games). In Bakersfield we weren’t playing the tops as much we were playing it in the middle … the aggression shows through.”
Pease is currently leading the Vandals in shots taken on goal with 16 shots and is one of three players with two goals for the season.
Curtis Ginnetti can be reached at email@example.com