Salmon Nets Pair Of Goals To Lead Utah State To 2-1 OT Win Over Southern Utah Friday
Sept. 22, 2006
CEDAR CITY, Utah - Freshman forward Erin Salmon netted two goals, the second in overtime, to lead Utah State soccer to a 2-1 OT victory over in-state foe Southern Utah Friday afternoon at SUU's Thunderbird Field. Utah State dealt Southern Utah its first home loss since 2004 after an 11-match home win streak.
The Aggies also halted their five-match losing streak and improved to 3-5 overall, while Southern Utah is now 2-6-1 with the loss. The victory kept Utah State unbeaten vs. Southern Utah, as the Aggies improved to 3-0-1 against the Thunderbirds, pushing their record to 12-16-2 vs. in-state opponents.
"It was an exciting match," head coach Heather Cairns said. "They hadn't lost at home since 2004 and they came out in the beginning and were aggressive. We did not create much of anything in the first half and did not generate enough quality opportunities."
Salmon, a native of Orem, Utah, was making her first start in an Aggie uniform and cashed in on the opportunity, tallying her first career points, and vaulting to the top of the Utah State season scoring list as she now leads the team with four points while playing in seven matches.
Southern Utah got on the board first, as Catherine Johnson netted a goal in the 40th minute from 30 yards out on the left wing. The goal was part of the 10-5 first half shot advantage the Thunderbirds maintained.
Utah State bounced back, outshooting Southern Utah, 11-2, in the second half and 5-0 in the overtime period. Salmon found the back of the net the first time just two seconds into the 62nd minute, taking a through-ball feed from junior midfielder Abby Hunt (Salt Lake City), and breaking away from the defender, and beating SUU goalkeeper Holly Davis.
Just three seconds from the 100th minute, Salmon collected the carom after senior forward Charity Weston (Layton, Utah) drilled the crossbar with a shot, and tucked the ball into the back of the net to give the Aggies the win.
"Erin's first goal was a brilliant goal off a great feed from Abby and the second goal was a sign of Erin's perseverance and being in the right place at the right time," Cairns said.
Sophomore netminder Ali Griffin made seven saves in the match, as the South Jordan, Utah, native now has 15 saves in the last two matches, after her eight stops in last Saturday's 1-0 OT loss to BYU.
"We came out in the second half and were much better at creating scoring chances," Cairns said. "I give a lot of credit to our team for turning thing around. We earned and deserved that win."
The victory moved Utah State's record to 2-1-0 in overtime matches, a much improved result from last season's 0-2-4 mark in extra time.
"At halftime we talked about competing," Cairns said. "We just want to create chances to win."
Utah State returns to the road Sunday, heading to Salt Lake City to tangle with Utah at 1 p.m. at Utah's Ute Field.
Utah collected its first road win of the season with a 3-1 win at Idaho State Friday afternoon to improve to 5-4 overall.
Fans can follow Sunday's Utah State - Utah match with live stats follow GameTracker through www.UtahStateAggies.com, the official athletic website of Utah State Athletics, or through GameTracker and a live audio broadcast of the match will be available on www.UtahUtes.com as a part of All-Access.
Prior to two losses last week, Utah was No. 12 in last week's official NSCAA/adidas Top 25 poll, which was the Utes' highest-ever ranking in the NSCAA poll. UU was also No. 25 in soccerbuzz.com's Top 30 Poll and No. 8 in the West Regional soccerbuzz.com poll. The Utes were also No. 22 in the Soccer Times Top 25 and ranked 25th in Soccer America Magazine's weekly poll. After the losses, the Utes dropped out of the national polls and slid to No. 14 in soccerbuzz.com's West Regional rankings.
Some family ties will be at stake in Sunday's match, as Utah State freshman midfielder Alex Marsh will be facing her sister, Hailey, who is a senior forward for the Utes. The Aggies' Marsh has not seen action since Utah State's exhibition match, battling some minor injuries, while the Utes' Marsh was named Mountain West Conference's Offensive Player of the Week last week after netting two goals in Utah's pair of matches last week.
After this weekend, the Aggies return home to open a three-match homestand at Chuck & Gloria Bell Soccer Field, beginning with Eastern Washington on Saturday, Sept. 30 at 10 a.m. Utah State then welcomes San Francisco on Oct. 2 at 3 p.m., and closes out both the homestand and the Aggies' non-conference portion of the schedule against Utah Valley State on Oct. 6 at 3 p.m.
The Aggies commence Western Athletic Conference action on Oct. 8, traveling to Ruston, La., to face Louisiana Tech.
Utah State (3-5-0) vs. Southern Utah (2-6-1) Date: Sep 22, 2006 Attendance: 327 Weather: Mostly sunny, windy, 63 degrees