Nov. 7, 2013
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - - Fifth-seeded Utah State soccer's dramatic run in its first-ever Mountain West Tournament came to an end Thursday with a semifinal loss to top-seeded San Diego State, 3-2, at UNM Soccer Complex.
Despite USU taking the lead twice, the Aztecs showed why they are defending MW Tournament Champions. Utah State played hard despite playing its third match in four days. The Aggies now end the season with a 10-7-5 record, while SDSU improves to 12-6-2 this season.
The Aggies reached double figures in wins for the seventh time in the last eight seasons.
"It was a good tough game, but we came up short. San Diego State is a good team, and I couldn't be any more proud of my team," USU head coach Heather Cairns said.
In the other semifinal match, third-seeded Boise State continues its run after a 2-1 double overtime win over second-seeded Fresno State, 2-1. The Broncos will now face the Aztecs in the championship match on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 1 p.m. (MT).
Senior forward Mari Miyashiro got things started for the Aggies with a blast from beyond 20 yards that SDSU's Melanie Vaughan dove to prevent finding the back of the net in the 10th minute. The Aggie pressure paid off in the 15th minute, when freshman midfielder Jayne Robison found senior midfielder Shay Haddow inside the box. The goal was the second of the season for Haddow, while the helper was Robison's team-leading fifth of the year.
San Diego State responded in the 24th minute with a header from Sophie Metz. After a USU foul, Metz connected after a Victoria Barba direct kick for her third goal of the season to tie the score 1-1. The goal was the first allowed in the MW Tournament by redshirt-freshman goalkeeper Natalie Stoven and the USU defense.
The Aggies didn't waste time re-taking the lead early in the second half. Once again a freshman was involved in the action. Rookie midfielder Jessica Brooksby assisted on senior Jennifer Flynn's team-leading fifth goal of the season.
The Aztecs tied the score in the 55th minute when Barba fired a shot from 25 yards out to the upper left corner.
SDSU took the lead for good in the 75th minute of the match in yet another play that involved Barba. On a play that started with an Aztec free kick, Barba got the ball to Haley Palmer who eventually found the foot of Hannah Keane for her 11th goal of the season. San Diego State was able to maintain possession for the remainder of the match to seal the win.
For the match, San Diego State out shot Utah State, 14-13. Stoven ended the match with six saves, while SDSU's Vaughn made five saves.
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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