USD women’s soccer tied with Eastern Washington 1-1 and earned their first win of the season in a 3-0 victory over Chicago State 3-0 this weekend.
Friday, the Coyotes traveled to Cheney, WA, to play Eastern Washington in their second game of the season.
Both teams endured a scoreless first half, but in the 53rd-minute junior midfielder Amanda Carpio struck her second goal of the season off of a deflected shot from junior forward Kellee Willer.
The Eagles answered in the 76th minute when senior midfielder Jenny Chavez scored off assists from seniors Allison Raniere and Alexis Stephenson.
After two overtimes, neither team could score and the game ended in a tie.
EWU outshot USD 24-6 throughout the match, but USD senior goalkeeper Parker Rytz saved 11 of 12 EWU’s shots on goal.
Willer shot four times and assisted Carpio’s lone goal.
Sunday, the Coyotes returned to the First Bank & Trust Soccer Complex in Vermillion to play Chicago State, each team searching for their first win of 2018.
Kellee Willer put the Coyotes up 1-0 in the 32nd minute with a strike from the middle of the penalty box, following a pass from sophomore midfielder Alexis Mitchell.
USD went into halftime with six shots and a 1-0 lead.
Willer struck again in the 66th minute when sophomore midfielder Dani Brown moved the ball up to freshman forward Tiannah Moore, whom then crossed the ball to the far side of the goal box for an uncontested finish from Willer.
Dani Brown scored the first goal of her collegiate career and last of the match in the 88th minute, bending a shot around the Eagle goaltender’s fingers into the bottom left corner of the net; assists credited to freshman midfielder Hannah Roskelly and freshman forward Jordan Centenio.
Kellee Willer shot five times, landing three of them on goal and two in the goal. Dani Brown finished with one goal and one assist, as did Alexis Mitchell. Tiannah Moore shot twice and earned an assist.
USD totaled 13 shots at the end of the game, seven of those landing on goal.
Head Coach Michael Thomas, whose win on Sunday was his first as a Coyote, said he’s satisfied with the three-day stretch.
“It’s a good feeling. I’m just happy for the girls and proud of what they did over the weekend,” Thomas said. “It’s hard travel on Thursday to go all the way to Washington, get a draw against a very good team, travel back on Saturday and see a performance like this. I can’t say enough about the girls’ mentality.”
Goalkeeper Parker Rytz’s 11 saves off of 24 shots kept the USD even with EWU on Friday, but the Coyote’s defensive backfield relieved Rytz by only allowing 4 shots on Sunday.
“Parker was phenomenal on Friday,” Thomas said. “We were playing on the road against a very talented team.”
“The whole back line has been very good, but we had some kids play a lot of minutes this weekend,” Thomas said. “(Sophomore defender) Abby Ostrem played 200 minutes of soccer over the last three days, and that’s not an easy thing to do.”
Kellee Willer said the team’s physical condition lets them break down other teams late in the game.
“We don’t lighten up,” Willer said. “We’re a fit team, so we’re able to stay sharp for 90 minutes.”
Thomas said this advantage provides opportunities on offense, as was seen against Chicago State in two second-half goals, one scored in the last three minutes of the game.
“Our ability to pass and possess the ball led to some holes in the defense,” Thomas said. “One of the things we believe around here is that the wings open up the middle. We were able to create some chances down the middle as a result of the work we put on the wings early in the game.”
Thomas said this first win is a great thing to build momentum on.
“I think celebrating all the little positives help build our momentum,” Thomas said. “Anytime you can keep piling that up is a good thing.”
USD moves to 1-1-2 on the season and hosts Northern Colorado in their next game at noon on Sept. 2.