Thunderbirds Edged by Leathernecks
Courtesy: SUU Media Relations
Release: 10/13/2011
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CEDAR CITY, Utah – Southern Utah University hosted the Leathernecks of Western Illinois Thursday in a back-and-forth match that saw the visiting team come out on top by a 3-2 tally.

The Thunderbirds looked sharp in the opening minutes, pushing the ball up field to create several solid scoring opportunities. SUU was able to capitalize on one of those chances in the sixth minute when senior midfielder Elyse Osborne found Stacey Brinkman inside the box where she was able to fire a shot off the left post and into the net to put the T-Birds up 1-0 early on.

The Leathernecks would answer just a few minutes later as junior midfielder Sarah Blaase gathered a deflected shot in the box and fired the ball past Breanna Fitzgerald to level the score at a goal apiece.

Western Illinois went on to claim the lead in 19th minute when Nora Potempa sent a corner kick in front of the net where her teammate Amber Davis was able to head it into the goal to put the Leathernecks up 2-1.

SUU kept up its aggressive attack and was rewarded in the 34th minute senior midfielder Riley Bassett delivered an excellent cross into the box where Brinkman sent the ball into the back of the net with a leaping header for the equalizer. The junior forward’s second goal of the match also made her the Thunderbirds leading scorer with four on the season.

“Stacey was huge for us and made key goals at key moments,” commented Thunderbird head coach Brian Stock. “We look to her for a lot of scoring and she was able to give us that punch.”

The score would remain level at 2-2 well into the second half as both defenses tightened after the break. Then with the clock winding down Western Illinois earned a corner kick, giving them one more chance to claim the match in regulation. Once again Potempa played an excellent cross into the box where Davis was able to find and opening and redirect the ball in for the score to put WIU up 3-2. The Leathernecks then held on the for the one goal victory.

“There is an old adage in soccer that a corner kick is worth half a goal,” said Stock after the game. “We had our chances, but it came down to those last couple of minutes and they were able to get it done.”

With the victory Western Illinois improves to 1-4 in conference play and 7-7 overall. Southern Utah falls to 2-7-4 on the year and is still looking for it’s first Summit League win of the season. The Thunderbirds will return to the pitch this Saturday at 2:00 p.m. as they host IUPUI in the annual Breast Cancer Awareness Game. Special prizes, souvenirs and concessions will be available to everyone in attendance with proceeds going to the Breast Cancer Awareness Fund.
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