By Nate Sanchez
The ’Runner women’s soccer team capped off a two-game weekend on Sunday, Oct. 6 with a win against the University of Idaho Vandals, shutting them out for a 1-0 victory.
The ’Runners lost to Seattle University by a score of 3-0 two days prior to their win against the Vandals. After the weekend series, the ’Runners’ record now stands at 2-9-0.
The ’Runners recorded their second regular season win. By beating the Vandals, the ’Runners recorded their first conference win of the season, finally establishing their presence in the Western Athletic Conference.
“It’s a really good feeling. Now we have the momentum,” said junior forward Emily Noethe. “We needed this first goal and this first win to get the ball rolling.”
Defense was on point for the ’Runners, who entered Sunday’s match facing an Idaho team that had won three of their last four games and scored an average of two goals per win during that span. Throughout the game, the ’Runners only allowed two shots, none of which were on goal.
“It’s nice to be able to get a shutout,” said Head Coach Melissa Phillips. “I think we did a really good job of moving forward from some strengths from Friday night. It’s a bit of positive momentum.”
While the ’Runners struggled to find offense during Friday’s match against Seattle University, Noethe was able to score against Idaho by a header on an assist from senior midfielder Erica Shelton from a corner kick.
For most of the game, the ’Runners kept the Vandals on their heels, seldom reverting into a defensive formation. The game was played mostly within the Vandals’ half of the pitch. Of the 14 shots taken by the ’Runners, 10 were on goal.
“The thing we’ve been working on all season is getting in corners,” said Noethe. “This game we finally capitalized on one and it was great.”
The ’Runners also capitalized on their opponents’ tendency to get into foul trouble. The Vandals committed 16 fouls over 90 minutes, often setting the ’Runners up for a better position offensively.
While the ’Runners celebrate their first conference win of the season, they look forward to facing last-place New Mexico State on Friday. The ’Runners have five days to prepare for their conference opponent.
“We’re gonna do the same thing for every game,” said Noethe. “Now that we have the momentum, we’re gonna capitalize on any opportunities we get.”
“We’re going to try to move forward every game,” said Phillips. “It’s a long road ahead of us, but we’ve got a lot of games left to play.”
The ’Runners will play New Mexico State University on Friday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. at the Main Soccer Field.