Cowgirls set for final road trip of regular season
LARAMIE -- The University of Wyoming soccer team takes to the road for the final time during the regular season this fall. The Cowgirls travel to Boise State on Thursday for a 4 p.m. match before playing at Utah State on Sunday at 1 p.m.
UW – owning a 7-8-1 overall record and a 3-5-0 mark in Mountain West Conference play – is fresh off a record-setting day this past week. The Cowgirls downed Nevada 6-1 on Sunday, in what was the most goals ever scored against a MWC foe in school history, the most goal scorers, six, against a MWC opponent and the most goals scored in a MWC game this season.
“Scoring goals is the hardest part of the game, and to score six in one match is pretty astronomical,” UW head coach Colleen Corbin said. “To be that effective in set pieces, scoring five goals off them, was pretty special. I’m not sure I’ll be part of something like that ever again. That’s how special it was.”
Freshman midfielder Eliza-Grace Smith, senior defender Savannah Warner, junior midfielder Sydney Miller, sophomore forward Nikayla Copenhaver, junior midfielder Hannah Hagen and freshman midfielder Liv Stutzman all found the back of the net against the Wolf Pack. That’s the second-highest number of scorers in program history.
It’s also the highest number of goals scored since 2012. Corbin is hoping her club can ride that wave of momentum against the Broncos and Aggies.
“The things that we as a staff have been telling them, that we know they’re capable of, was on display (against Nevada),” Corbin said. “It’s about trying to create environments where the players feel that, know that, and really believe it – that they are that good, and they can have a six-goal game when they choose to.”
The offensive outburst gave Wyoming a dozen different goal scorers this season, as three players found the back of the net for the first time this fall. The Cowgirls are tied for the second highest number of goal scorers in the MWC with UNLV, and Boise State the only team with more at 14.
Speaking of the Broncos and Cowgirls, they are both looking to ascend in the conference standings. The top six in the final standings advance to MWC conference tournament, and both Wyoming and Boise State are on the outside looking in.
The Cowgirls are positioned in a tie for eighth with nine points, while the Broncos (8-6-2 overall, 2-4-2 MWC) own eight points and are tied for 11th. Utah State clings to the sixth spot with 11 points (10-4-3 overall, 3-3-2 MWC).
Boise State began the year in fine form. It won its first five games, one of which was at PAC-12 foe Utah.
The Broncos have had trouble recapturing that same success. They’ve dropped four of their last six matches with just one lone win during that span.
As mentioned above, Boise State boasts 14 goal scorers. None are more potent than Keile Hansen who has found the back of the net four times this season.
The Broncos have split time between two goalkeepers. Sydney Smith and Genevieve Crenshaw have made nine and seven starts, respectively, combining for 48 saves and a GAA of 0.90.
Speaking of goalkeeping, redshirt-junior goalkeeper Alex Daws is coming off one of her more stout performances of the season against Nevada. She made four saves and turned away a penalty kick. Daws has logged 62 saves this season and owns a GAA of 1.81.
The Cowgirls and Broncos didn’t meet during the 2021 spring slate. Boise State has won four straight in the series with Wyoming’s last win occurring in 2015.
Utah State and Wyoming have split its last six meetings. That includes a split in the spring’s pair of matchups.
Ashley Cardozo and Sammie Murdock pace the Aggies offensively. They both have five goals apiece, while Sara Taylor has chipped in four goals this fall.
Diera Walton has made every start in goal for Utah State. She lays claim to 83 saves and a GAA of 0.82.
“This weekend is going to be tough,” Corbin said. “Boise State and Utah State are very good programs that are very well coached. It has been a mission of ours to be the same team on the road that we are at home. My expectation is that we rise to that challenge this weekend.”
Following the road trip, Wyoming will return to Laramie for one final regular-season game. The Cowgirls host Colorado State on Oct. 28.
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