It was one of the hottest and sunniest days in San Francisco last Sunday when the Lady Dons were about to play against Washington – and maybe that is why there were fewer members than usual. Many people of all ages were passing Nagoesco Stadium and heading to Golden Gate Park to enjoy the weather and the “Now and Zen” free concert.
This was an important game for USF, who has not won or scored since their match against Riverside; also, Washington was supposed to be a tough opponent with a lot of individual and collective qualities. So the women’s soccer team had a little bit of pressure on their shoulders and had to show consistency in their game.
Both teams were very aggressive as soon as the match started and their respective qualities were even as the Dons got four shots over three for the Huskies while the latter got five corner kicks against none for USF in the first half. Unfortunately, at the 30th minute, Lindsay Elston from Washington scored a powerful shot thanks to a precise cross from Alex Webber. The few Washington fans that were there demonstrated their joy loudly while the USF fans tried to hide their disappointment by keeping on cheering the team. The Dons tried to stay aggressive after this goal, but their efforts did not pay off and the Huskies were up 1-0 at half time.
In the second half, Washington’s attack was more consistent and more efficient, and the Huskies dominated the game technically and mentally. They shot 10 times when USF shot only three times and goalkeeper Noelle Salter saved the team six times just in the second half. Finally, their strategy rewarded them as Jane Mitchell crossed at Mckenna Waitley who scored at the 82nd minute. This second goal relieved Washington’s fans and players that screamed and jumped to celebrate a victory that was near.
There was nothing the Lady Dons could to score, tie or even and most of them were frustrated and sad when the referee blew the end of the game. This loss was even harder to accept because it was their fifth straight. However, coach Mark Carr remained positive.
In an interview on usfdons.com Carr shared his thoughts on the game. “Obviously not the result we are looking for, but definitely the effort that we were looking for,” he said. “Whenever you play a quality Pac-10 opponent, it’s going to be hard. Today I felt we did a lot of good things. Even though we didn’t score, we were the most dangerous on the attack than we have been in the past three games. It’s a step in the right direction. It’s not going to change overnight and require a little work, but we are moving forward.”
The women’s soccer team will have to keep moving forward and get ready for their next weekend games in Arizona against Arizona and Northern Arizona. Hopefully, this game outside California will make the Dons more comfortable and confident in their game.
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