Freshman Nancy Brich scored a goal in her first start at forward for SUU
SUU Strategic Communications

SUU Soccer Plays Two More in Spring Season

April 01, 2013
By SUU Strategic Communication

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CEDAR CITY, Utah, April 1 – The Southern Utah University soccer team continued its spring season with a pair of games in St. George over the weekend. The Thunderbird defense put together solid back-to-back performances as the team earned a 1-1 draw against Dixie State in the day’s first contest and after a quick turnaround played for a 1-0 loss in a respectable result against Utah Valley.

“We played two great teams this weekend, and had a perfect opportunity to test our improvements,” stated SUU head coach Becky Hogan. “The Dixie game ended in a draw but the important statistic is the four point swing from our performance last year. UVU is an extremely well coached and disciplined team and we battled every second to wrest control of the game from them and came close to putting the ball in the back of the net on several occasions.”

Freshman Nancy Birch put the Thunderbirds up 1-0 against Dixie State with a goal off a rebound and then came close to adding a second late in the game with a long shot that missed just high and wide. The SUU back line held tight throughout as Megan Mower, Kristy Baron, Andrea Albrecht and Christine Meehan spent the entire match on the field. Dixie’s only score of the day was recorded on a penalty kick that set the final tally as a 1-1 tie.

“We came out strong in the first game and it was great to see our team take the field in the first time for over a month,” commented Hogan. “We lost seven players to graduation and are battling some injuries but you could tell our girls were excited to compete. Our growth over the past few months has been tremendous and to see them implementing the tactics we’ve been working on was fantastic. Our staff couldn’t be prouder of this team.”

The day’s second matchup saw SUU and UVU go back-and-forth with neither side being able to take the advantage until the final minutes. Following a defensive substitution for the Thunderbirds, Utah Valley broke through for a late goal to come away with a hard-fought 1-0 victory.

“Despite the adversity we faced we came out with a very respectable result. In fact, our coaching staff takes much of the brunt of this loss for making the substitution with just five minutes remaining that caused just enough of a disruption in our defense to allow UVU to crack through and score a goal,” stated Hogan. “The match was a measure of endurance and mental fortitude. Temperatures that day were over 80 degrees and we played two games with limited subs, illness and injury. But all-in-all our team is making strides and is shaping up to be a force.”

The Thunderbirds continue exhibition play with a home match this weekend as they get set to host Salt Lake United from the professional ranks of the Women’s Premier Soccer League. The match is set for this Saturday at 6:00 p.m. with open admission to the public.

“Salt Lake United is affiliated with the MLS Real team and battled last year for the championship,” explained Hogan. “This will be an extremely exciting game and is a showcase of the state's very best talent.”