Nov. 4, 2013
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - - Fifth-seeded Utah State soccer used aggressive play to defeat eighth-seeded Nevada in the first round of the Mountain West Soccer Tournament Monday at the UNM Soccer Complex. This was the Aggies first-ever MW Tournament match.
In the other first round match, sixth-seeded Wyoming stopped seventh-seeded UNLV, 1-1, in penalty kicks. The Cowgirls will now take on third-seeded Boise State at 4 p.m. USU will follow with its match against New Mexico at 7 p.m.
Utah State is now 1-1 against Nevada in conference tournaments, as the Wolf Pack defeated USU 2-0 in the 2006 Western Athletic Conference Tournament in Reno, Nev. The Aggies turned the tables on Nevada as the Wolf Pack defeated USU, 2-0, on Sept. 27 in Reno in the regular season.
"It's fantastic (to get the win)," said Utah State head coach Heather Cairns. "The way the tournament is structured, back to back, it's going to be tough. But I'm really proud of the girls. This is our first year in the Mountain West and the first year in the tournament, and it's our first win in the tournament. We made some history, and hopefully it doesn't stop tonight."
With the win, Utah State improved to 10-6-4 overall, while Nevada ends its season with a 5-11-4 mark. This is the sixth time in the last seven seasons that the Aggies have reached double-digits in wins.
The Aggies came out strong in the first half pressuring Nevada goalkeeper Kelsey Quintos several times in the first few minutes of the match, including shots from junior midfielder Kylie Dibb and freshman midfielder Jessica Brooksby.
Junior forward Ambryn McCallson picked a fantastic time for her first goal of the season. After a Wolf Pack hand ball, McCallson delivered a beautiful direct kick that sailed just over the hands of Quintos in the 39th minute. The goal was the second of her career.
USU ended the half out-shooting Nevada, 9-2. Redshirt-freshman goalkeeper Natalie Stoven was not forced to make a save in the first half as the Aggie backline was very stingy in the first 45 minutes.
Neither team had too many offensive opportunities early in the second half, as both defenses really locked down.
With 29 minutes left in the match, Quintos made a great save off of a firecracker of a shot off the foot of senior forward Jennifer Flynn. The save kept the score 1-0 in favor of Utah State.
The Aggies put the match out of reach in the 88th minute with senior forward Mari Miyashiro's second goal of the year. Miyashiro worked hard for her goal, dribbling past two Wolf Pack defenders and drilling a shot from 16 yards out to give USU the 2-0 advantage.
For the match, USU out-shot Nevada, 18-7. The 18 shots tied a season high when the Aggies had 18 shots in a win against Idaho State on Sept. 7. Stoven ended the match with two saves, while Nevada's Quintos collected six shots.
Live stats for Tuesday's match will be available through the "Live Stats" link at www.UtahStateAggies.com, the official website of USU Athletics. Streaming will also be available for all tournament matches by clicking on the "Watch Live" link on the Utah State website. Fans can also head to the Mountain West's Tournament Central page at http://www.themw.com/#!/page/championship_w-soccer.
Fans can follow USU soccer at http://twitter.com/USUsoccer and Utah State athletics at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics. Fans can also follow Aggies soccer on Facebook at http://facebook.com/USUsoccer or on Instagram at http://instagram.com/USUsoccer.
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