Morgan, Dibb net goals for Aggies in win
Published: Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 23:10
Playing at home for the first time in two weeks, the Utah State women’s soccer team downed the Air Force Academy 2-0 Tuesday at Chuck and Gloria Bell Field.
“It was a really good day,” said senior forward Mari Miyashiro. “Before the game, coach wanted us to put this game away to make sure that we made the Mountain West Tournament and we did that, so it was a very good day.”
USU was all over Air Force from the beginning.
In the 13th minute, Miyashiro found an open Lexie Morgan 24 yards from the goal. Morgan lifted the ball into the top corner and it slipped past the diving goalkeeper’s fingers and into the net for Morgan’s second goal of the season.
“That felt awesome. I haven’t scored in quite a long time, and so that felt really good,” said the junior midfielder. “Mari had a perfect pass right to me, and I just put up a shot.”
USU continued pressuring in the first half, shooting the ball eight times before the midway point.
Air Force got perhaps its best chance to score in the second half.
USU senior defender Brooke Larsen-Leavitt cleared ball from the 18-yard-box after it was swarmed by Aggies and Falcons. The Falcons failed to produce a shot, and their only shot came in the first half and was off-target.
USU would score again in the 58th minute after senior forward Jennifer Flynn ran the ball down the field, beat a defender and kicked knocked the ball off of the goalkeeper for a corner kick.
Larsen-Leavitt’s kick found freshman midfielder Lauren Harmon, who knocked it down to junior midfielder Kylie Dibb, who just had to watch the ball come off her foot into the open net. The goal was Dibb’s fourth of the season and gave the Aggies a third straight multiple-goal game.
“We haven’t scored on a set piece in a little while, so that was nice,” said USU head coach Heather Cairns. “Lauren Harmon is so fantastic at getting on the end of them and then Kylie does what she does best. She was in the right place at the right time and tucked that away.”
USU’s defense smothered Air Force, which only took one shot in the whole game. The shutout was the third straight for the Aggies and the eighth of the season.
Even though she didn’t record an official blocked shot, it was the third shutout for redshirt freshman goalkeeper Natalie Stoven, who had her first start three games ago and has yet to be scored on.
“Momentum is fantastic. It really gets your teams confidence up,” Cairns said. “We’re still getting better at this point in the season, which is really nice because we just want to keep improving in the next couple weeks.”
The game was originally scheduled for Oct. 4 but was postponed because the federal government shutdown left the Air Force women’s soccer team without funding to play at the time.
The win improved the Aggies’ overall record to 9-5-2 on the season and 5-2 in Mountain West Conference play.
The win also put the Aggies tied for fourth in the conference standings.
The Aggies play the top two teams in the Mountain West this weekend in Logan. They take on New Mexico Friday and defending conference champion San Diego State Sunday.
The Aggies have three games left in the regular season, and all three are at home.
“It’s going to take an all around game, but usually it does,” Cairns said about playing New Mexico on Friday. “When you play a team that is sitting at the top of the table, that’s what it’s going to take.”