Bedard’s late goal lifts Cowgirls to victory over Air Force
LARAMIE -- The final tally isn’t always indicative of how the game is played. That notion has been true for the University of Wyoming soccer team in more than one match during Mountain West Conference play this season.
The Cowgirls have dominated possession, fired more shots on multiple occasions in league action but haven’t always been rewarded. It appeared as though something similar may transpire Friday at the Madrid Sports Complex, however, sophomore forward Alyssa Bedard and Cowgirls wouldn’t let that happen.
Bedard netted an 88th-minute goal, assisted on by sophomore midfielder Jazi Barela, which lifted Wyoming to a thrilling 2-1 victory over Air Force. The win improves the Cowgirls to 6-6-1 overall and 2-3-0 in league play, while the Falcons fall to 5-6-1 and 2-3-0.
“It was truly a team win, top to bottom, from the backline to the frontline, everybody stepped up today,” head coach Colleen Corbin said. “The girls never stopped working. They never took their foot off the pedal, and they gained another notch in their resiliency belt.”
The resiliency was on full display in many different forms. The elements weren’t ideal, as the wind blew and the rain fell.
The Cowgirls were also without multiple starters. Barela started for the first time this fall and affected the game in many ways, especially at the very end. Freshman defender Kylee Holstad started for the first time in her career and played all 90 minutes.
“That’s all we can ask of these kids – when they get called on, rise, and everyone rose today,” Corbin said. “Everyone who came in changed the game. Our subs have always been valuable, and today they really showed just how much value they bring to this team.”
An everyday starter, freshman forward Maddi Chance, provided the game’s first goal. She netted a 31st-minute goal, unassisted, for the second goal of her career.
Air Force leveled the game in the 36th minute. Faith Lee scored for the fourth time this season to knot the game at 1-1.
As alluded to, Wyoming dominated the final stat sheet. It outshot the Falcons 14-4, as the Cowgirls fired nine shots in the first half and four more in the final 45 minutes.
Bedard led the way with a game-high four shots. Chance, redshirt-junior midfielder Jamie Tatum, and freshman midfielder Eliza Grace-Smith each had three shots apiece.
“They didn’t stop playing, and that’s something we’ve been talking about a lot,” Corbin said. “When the elements don’t work in your favor, when the other team doesn’t work in your favor, when things aren’t going your way, you still have to play soccer, and they did that today.”
Redshirt-junior goalkeeper Alex Daws made her return to net, making her first start since the MWC opener at New Mexico. She recorded two saves.
Wyoming remains at home, playing host to Colorado College on Sunday. That match is set for a 1 p.m. start time.
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