Oct. 9, 2011
LOGAN, Utah - - Sophomore midfielder Kendra Pemberton was involved in all three goals as the Utah State women's soccer team won its second-straight match with a 3-1 victory over Louisiana Tech at home on Sunday.
With the win, Utah State improves to 10-4-1 overall and 2-1-0 in Western Athletic Conference action. The Aggies have now won at least 10 matches six of the last nine seasons. The record for wins in a season is 13 in 2008. The Lady Techsters fall to 8-4-4 overall and 1-2-0 in league play.
With the win, the Aggies improve to 7-0-0 this season at home which is their best-ever start. The seven wins ties both the 2010 team that went 7-1-2 at home and the 2008 squad that was 7-2-1 at Chuck and Gloria Bell Soccer Field.
"We thought that we really came out and started the game strongly. We knew that they are very effective and sitting back, and catching teams on the counter-attack. We thought that it was really important to take it at them early which showed fantastic tenacity from our team. Looking at the result we are now 2-1 in conference matches and took a big step toward qualifying for the conference tournament," USU head coach Heather Cairns said.
The Aggies wasted no time getting on the board, scoring the first goal in the sixth minute. Sophomore forward Mari Miyashiro returned to form with her third goal of the season taking a pass from Pemberton and blasting an 18-yard shot to the back left corner. The assist was Pemberton's team-leading seventh of the season. She now has 12 career assists and is tied for second in career assists with Aggie-great Charity Weston (2003-06). She is just three assists from tying Lindsey Smart's (2006-09) career record of 15 helpers. Later in the match, senior forward Shantel Flanary would add her name to that list with her 12th career assist.
"I think that we gained some confidence after our last match after struggling the last five matches. We finally got our confidence back and are having more fun. This whole week in practice we have been relaxed and having fun. The more we scored the more confident we get heading into the rest of WAC play," Pemberton said.
Less than 10 minutes later, Pemberton scored her first goal of the match in the 16th minute. The sophomore took a ball off of a Lady Techster defender to score the unassisted goal and put USU up 2-0 which is how the half would end.
In the 51st minute, Pemberton was at it again, scoring her second goal of the match and third of the weekend. She took a slick pass from Flanary and deposited a six-yard shot past Louisiana Tech goalkeeper Caitlin Updyke. The was the fourth goal of the season for the midfielder.
Louisiana Tech got one goal back in the 75th minute after freshman forward Jade Tarver was called for a foul in the box. Scotti Culton scored her third goal off the season off the ensuing penalty kick which was scored off of junior goalkeeper Ashlyn Mulford who replaced starting net-minder senior Molli Merrill in the second half.
In the brief two-match homestand, the Aggie offense got back on track with five goals in the two matches. In Utah State's previous five matches, the Aggies had only scored two goals.
USU is back on the road again with only two matches in the next two weeks. Utah State takes travels to Reno to take on Nevada on Sunday Oct. 16 at 2 p.m. The Aggies next match after that is on Friday, Oct. 21 at Idaho at 4 p.m.
Fans can follow USU soccer on Twitter at http://twitter.com at USU Soccer and Utah State Athletics at USUAthletics.
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