“Portland State is known for their defense. They are organized and play very compact, usually with ten people around the ball in small spaces,” explained SUU head coach Becky Hogan. “But on our side the defensive kids really stepped up and made it a personal challenge knowing that they were playing the number one team in our conference.”
Things were close from the start as the neither team was able to put a shot on frame in the opening period, with the Vikings coming up with seven tries to the Thunderbirds three. SUU came back in the second half as both sides were even with five shots.
“We had a few good looks at the goal in the run of play, but maybe were a little too unselfish trying to make an extra pass instead of taking the shot,” stated Hogan. “Shelby Green had a header on a set piece where she caught the ball on an upward bounce so it went off the top of the crossbar and out. Katie Jones then had a free kick from a little over 20 yards out in overtime that just went over the goal.”
Freshman goalkeeper Elyssa Hashimoto recorded three saves to keep the match scoreless at the end of regulation, then added two more in overtime to help preserve the scoreless draw.
“Hashi had a bit of a breakthrough today,” commented Hogan. “Being a goalkeeper is such a difficult combination of timing and instincts, and today she was just spot on. She made a save with just a few minutes left in the second overtime that was world-class.”
Southern Utah will finish up its road trip with a visit to Sacramento State this Sunday with a match scheduled for 2:00 p.m. (MT) Coverage of SUU soccer is available at www.suutbirds.com.