SUU (4-6-1, 1-2 Summit League) received goals from junior forward McKenzie Hadley and redshirt-sophomore forward Stacy Brinkman and a shutout performance by redshirt-sophomore goalkeeper Charly Booth to earn their fourth straight home victory. The Thunderbirds finished with a 20-6 shot advantage over the Kangaroos (1-11, 0-3 Summit League) including a 9-1 margin at the half.
“Today was a fantastic event with a great crowd that showed great support for a great cause and for our soccer team that played very well today,” head coach Brian Stock stated. “I was happy to see our team put together a good performance on such a special day.”
Playing in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd and wearing its all pink uniforms in support of Breast Cancer Awareness, Southern Utah was on the attack early and often. The Thunderbirds took the match's first nine shots and nearly got on the board after a wild scramble in the front of the UMKC goal in the 10th minute. Following a shot by senior defender Allison Thompson that was knocked away by UMKC keeper Jami Finnell, junior forward Elyse Alexander corralled the rebound and fired away from the right side of the box. Finnell was there once again for a leaping save but could not gather in the ball and Alexander again got the rebound and fired on goal but Finnell again deflected the shot wide to keep it 0-0.
Minutes later and following a UMKC foul, sophomore midfielder Morgan Bridge sent a free kick from just outside the right 18-yard mark into the Kangaroo box that Hadley won position for and headed one into the left side of the goal for her second score of the season to give SUU a 1-0 lead at the 11:28 mark.
The Thunderbirds would stay on the attack and hold possession for most of the first half, forcing Finnell to make eight saves to keep it 1-0 at the break.
UMKC opened the second half with re-newed energy and nearly evened things up early on but Booth made an incredible save to preserve the 1-0 SUU lead. A Kangaroo forward had got behind the SUU defense and one-timed a shot off a right cross that Booth came out and dove to her right to make the save.
Southern Utah regained form after that and continued on the attack before putting the match away in the 80th minute. Alexander gained possession and took the ball all the way up the right sideline before sending a perfectly placed right cross into the box that Brinkman won position for and re-directed via header into the back left corner for her third goal of the season and push the lead to 2-0.
Booth and the SUU defense would do the rest, limiting UMKC to just two shots in the final 10 minutes and holding possession throughout most of the match to earn the important conference victory.
“We have continued to work on those set pieces and have been looking to get some pressure in the box when we have those opportunities,” Stock added. “Both Morgan and Elyse made some great plays to give us and chance and both Hads (Hadley) and Stacy worked hard to make two very nice finishes. I was glad to see Charly get another shutout too. She continues to play with more and more confidence and once again played very well for us.”
Junior midfielder Riley Basset led the team with five shots while Hadley finished with three shots-on-goal. Bridge picked up her second assist of the season while Alexander recorded her team-leading third assist. Booth made two saves while UMKC’s Finnell made 11.
The Thunderbirds continue Summit League play next weekend, hosting South Dakota State University at 4:00PM on Thursday and North Dakota State University at 1:00PM on Saturday. Saturday will be SUU’s 10-Year Anniversary celebration as part of Southern Utah’s homecoming weekend.
For more information go to SUU Womens Soccer