“This lets our team know that we can beat these teams,” stated SUU head coach Becky Hogan. “Weber State was sitting at the top of the conference, so to knock off not only a conference opponent, but the team at the top, I think it’s huge.”
Both offenses worked to settle in during the opening period as the half ended with the score still tied at 0-0 and the teams combining to take just seven shots. Weber State broke the stalemate shortly after the break on a goal from Lana Willard. The WSU freshman took a pass from teammate Kendra Smith in the 49th minute and fired off a shot that found the back of the net to put the Wildcats out in front, 1-0.
The lead didn’t last long as Megan Mower broke free for an equalizer just two minutes later. The Thunderbird senior found same space and played the ball through the legs of the onrushing goalkeeper to even things up at 1-1.
“Mower has been coming in extra, working out on her own, really trying to focus in and make the most of her senior season, and she gets a goal. That is just perfect,” commented Hogan.
Both sides battled for the advantage in the closing moments until Southern Utah was able to advance the ball into WSU territory with a pass from Katie Jones to Kirsten Anthony who put it in the air in front of the net. Cook then leaped and flicked a header over a defender and past the keeper for what would prove to be the game-winner as the Thunderbirds went on to come away with the 2-1 win.
“Syd Cook plays with so much heart and she scores goals for us because she is just relentless,” explained Hogan. “She tries hard no matter what, never has a bad attitude, so she is a great embodiment of everything that is special about our team.”
SUU finished the match with a 15-7 advantage in the shot column, as well as a 3-2 edge on corner kicks. Freshman goalkeeper Elyssa Hashimoto recorded two saves on the day. Mower became the 13th Thunderbird to score a goal this year while Cook picked up her second of the season.
Southern Utah will be back at home this Sunday as the Thunderbirds get set to host Idaho State in a one o’clock showdown. Coverage of SUU soccer is available at www.suutbirds.com.