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ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Men's soccer falls to Idaho in first game of spring season

By Jeffrey Dahdah
On March 31, 2014

The Utah State men’s soccer team played its first game of the spring season Saturday against BYU-Idaho, suffering a 1-0 loss.

“I think it served its purpose,” said senior captain Joseph Burt. “We were able to work in a lot of new guys that we haven’t played with before, and I think that we kind of got a better idea for what system best fits our team. We tried out two or three different formations throughout the game, and some really worked and others didn’t work at all. I think that was our goal coming in, to figure out where we were at.”

After a scoreless first half, BYU-Idaho sent a cross into the box, and the shot that followed found the back of the net seven minutes into the second half.

The Aggies were unable to capitalize on multiple scoring opportunities throughout the game.

In the ninth minute of the game Matt Cannon got fouled in the box, but missed the resulting penalty kick. In the 40th minute, Cannon also missed a shot wide left that ricochet off of the BYU-Idaho wall. The Aggies’ final chance happened with less than a minute to play when Bert Sainsbury broke away and took a shot that sailed just over the goal post.

“I should have shot it better or passed it to the middle,” Sainsbury said. “I guess I just got too excited.”

BYU-Idaho’s coach was issued a red card with three minutes left in the game after an argument with the referee on the sideline.

“He was complaining to the referee, and I guess the referee just decided that it was enough and sent him off,” Burt said. “It’s kind of an unfortunate end to the game.”

One USU newcomer in Luis Armenta stood out when he saved a shot on the endline that found its way past the keeper.

“Armenta has slotted in really nicely,” Burt said. “Luis made that nice little goal-line save. He played well in the midfield.”

Despite the loss, they were pleased with some of the things that they saw on the field.

“It was good for our first time playing outside for a while,” Sainsbury said. “We’ve got some new players, and I think that second half we really started to play pretty well together. We started to really understand how the game was going. Overall, it was a pretty good game for the first one in a while.”

The Aggies play again Friday in Logan against Idaho State.

-- dahdahjm@gmail.com
Twitter: @dahdahUSU

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