Sabrina Hernandez scored a goal against Idaho State in the day's first game
SUU Strategic Communications

SUU Soccer Opens Spring at BYU Indoor Tournament

February 28, 2012
By SUU Strategic Communication

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PROVO, Utah – Feb. 25 – The first spring games of the year for Southern Utah saw the soccer team come out on the losing end of two closely contested matches at the annual BYU Indoor Tournament on Saturday. The Thunderbirds tallied an early goal against Idaho State in their first game of the day before the Bengals came back for a 2-1 win. SUU then faced Utah State in a hard-fought match that the Aggies took with a late goal for a 1-0 victory.

“Our level of competitiveness was very high and the girls never quit, they worked to the last second,” said SUU head coach Becky Hogan of the team’s performance in its first set of games under the new coach. “We played some really good soccer.”

Southern Utah took an early 1-0 advantage in the day’s first game on a goal by sophomore forward Sabrina Hernandez. Freshman Kirsten Anthony won a challenge with an Idaho State player and the ball bounced to Stacey Brinkman. The junior forward then made a pass to Hernandez who was able to battle through the Bengal defense to notch the opening goal for the Thunderbirds.

Idaho State got the goal back on a free kick by Anna Pingree just before the half to even the score at 1-1. After a back-and-forth second period, freshman Amanda Ellsworth posted the game-winning goal in the final minutes to give ISU the 2-1 victory.

Coach Hogan utilized the exhibition games as an opportunity to see how her players would perform at other positions, and was excited with what she found.

“We moved Rachel (Krenzer) to the midfield because of her creativity with the ball and she has shown that she can be dangerous up the field. I think she has tremendous potential there,” commented Hogan. “On our back line Kristy Baron was at center back for the first time and alongside her were Megan Palmer and Christine Meehan who played well beyond my expectations.”

The second game saw SUU matchup with the Utah State, a team that just came off a WAC championship and a trip to the NCAA tournament where it was narrowly edged by Auburn in the opening round. The first half of the match between the T-Birds and Aggies closed with the score still tied at 0-0 after a very competitive opening 20 minutes of play. An errant goal kick in the second period allowed USU to go on the attack and tally what would be the deciding goal as the Aggies took a 1-0 final.

“Utah State is fast, technical and has great depth,” explained Hogan. “The fact that we were able to play with them with only 15 field players who are learning a new system was great.”

The Thunderbirds will continue their spring schedule with a pair of games at Dixie State this Saturday. SUU will meet Utah Valley in Hansen Stadium at 2 p.m. before squaring off against the Red Storm at 6 p.m.