LOGAN, Utah -
Utah State soccer concluded a perfect season-opening weekend Sunday, as it posted a 2-0 home win over Montana.
Both of Utah State's goals came in a four-minute period in the second half. Freshman midfielder Ashley Cardozo scored her second goal of the weekend, giving the Aggies the game-winner in the 64th minute. Later, senior forward Bailee Hammond gave the team added security with a goal in the 68th minute.
Cardozo led the Aggies with three shots, while Hammond had two. Senior Sara Cobb played the full match in the net, earning her second shutout of the weekend and tallying a career-best five saves. Sophomore defender Brinley Adams and freshman midfielder Amber Marshall each had their first-career assists in the win.
"The first half was really shaky for us. Montana came out strong and was the better team through the first half. In the second half we made some adjustments, had some subs come in and had to dig down to have a little more grit. We were really able to turn it around," said USU head coach Heather Cairns. "It was nice to get the first goal, and then to have Bailee seal it with the second. Any time you can get on a team and score back-to-back goals quickly, you can really take the wind out of a team's sail."
There was quite a bit of back-and-forth play early in the match, but the later minutes of the first half weighed heavily in Montana's favor. The Grizzlies out-shot the Aggies, 7-5, in the first half, but the USU defense cleared out each attempt.
After making adjustments at the break, Utah State came out strong in the second half. With the team's first shot of the period, the Aggies got on the board in the 64th minute. Adams threw the ball in from the sideline, finding Cardozo. She took control at the top corner of the box, lobbing the shot up over the keeper in the top left corner of the net.
It didn't take long for the Aggies to strike again. In the 68th minute, Hammond received a pass from Marshall at the center of the box. After nearly losing possession, she got back in control to record her first goal of the season. Montana managed two more shots on goal in the match, but could not get past Cobb to score.
Utah State will face its first road contest of the season this week, as it travels to play at in-state rival No. 20 Utah on Thursday, Aug. 24. The Aggies and Utes will battle at 7:30 p.m.
Fans can follow Utah State soccer on Twitter, @USUSoccer, on Instagram, @USUSoccer, as well as on Facebook, at /USUSoccer. Aggie fans can also follow Utah State Athletics on Twitter, @USUAthletics, on Instagram, @USUAthletics and on Facebook at /USUAthletics.
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