Thunderbird Soccer Knocks Off Bengals 4-2
Cedar City, Utah - The Thunderbird soccer team took care of business Sunday afternoon at home, defeating the Idaho State Bengals 4–2 at the Thunderbird Soccer Field.
SUU head coach Becky Hogan said there was a different feel about the team today, as opposed to the contest on Friday where they lost late in the match.
“They were a lot more enthusiastic today,” she said. “At the very beginning of this game the energy was so much better then on Friday. We need to really figure that out because Friday’s are notoriously interesting for us. But the energy was great and the kids were in it to win it, and we had a lot of healthy people today.”
With the victory, the Thunderbirds (8–8–1, 3–5–1 Big Sky) have set a new program high for wins in a season with eight.
SUU’s first goal came in the eighth minute, when Payton Bonino put a rebound in after another shot bounced off the crossbar to put the Thunderbirds up 1–0 early. SUU struck again in the 14th minute, when Ally Thimsen took a pass from Aurora Moberly and finished putting SUU up 2–0. Bonino said the early goals were critical.
“Starting off early and winning is really good,” she said. “It’s a good start for us, scoring the first goal always helps with momentum.”
The Bengals struck in the 35th minute when Kayla Mizo took a corner kick from the foot of Nikolina Musto and headed it into the back of the net, bringing them within one.
After the halftime break Thimsen struck again, this time off a cross from Kelsee Bone, to put the Thunderbirds up 3–1. With the two goals in the match Thimsen is now just one away from tying the school record for goals in a single season, but she said it isn’t weighing too much on her mind.
“I’m just going to keep it in the back of my mind,” she said. “I think goals come easier when you’re just playing and working hard for your teammates.”
The Thunderbirds final goal of the match came in the 82nd minute, when Katie Jones took a pass from Jahna Tacson and was able to finish to score her first goal of the season and put SUU up 4–1.
The Bengals would score one more time before the conclusion of the match, as Ka’imi Morreira scored off a blocked shot to bring ISU within two.
Senior Tessa Christensen got the start in goal today for the Thunderbirds, and Hogan said she was happy with what she saw from the backup keeper.
“She’s so brave,” she said. “She clears balls that don’t necessarily get cleared by Taylor (Bolding) just because she’s a totally different player. She’s just a smart, talented, brave kid so it was nice to see her play.”
Idaho State played two goal keepers, with Shawna Hennings recording three saves and Renata Orozco recording one save.
SUU outshot Idaho State 25–7, with a 10–3 advantage in shots on goal.The Thunderbirds will wrap up their regular season next Friday, with a Senior Day match against the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks. The match is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. and attendance is free of charge.