The Dixie State University women’s soccer team opened up conference play with two disappointing losses on the road.
DSU lost its first game at Azusa Pacific University 2-0 following two second half goals from the Cougars. After falling to APU, DSU paid a visit to Point Loma Nazarene University. DSU got up 1-0 in the first half, but failed to maintain its lead and lost 2-1.
The Trailblazers took on APU Thursday in its first Pacific West Conference game of the season.
The first half was a defensive battle and neither team was able to get on the board. The Trailblazers had three shot attempts in the first half.
“The first half was great for us,” said head coach Kacey Bingham. “It was a solid back and forth battle. We just needed to come out with even more energy.”
APU changed its formation to start the second half, adding an additional midfielder. With DSU scrambling to adjust, the Cougars took advantage with two goals in the first five minutes of the second half.
The Trailblazers could not find the net for the rest of the game. When the clock ran out, DSU lost 2-0.
“[After those two goals] the girls were scrambling and reeling,” said Bingham. “They played deflated for the rest of the half, and we couldn’t snap out of it.”
The Trailblazers recorded six total shots and only two on goal. Meanwhile, APU had 14 total shots and seven on goal.
“Their formation switch led to our lack of communication to accommodate the change,” said sophomore defender Nichole Mertz, a nursing major from Springville. “That put us on our heels, and we were not able to recover.”
The Trailblazers then took on PNLU on Saturday.
Unlike the game against APU, the Trailblazers got on the board in the first half. Junior defender Montana Hadley placed a corner kick in position for junior forward Darian McCloy to head the ball into the goal for a 1-0 lead.
“We knew what they were capable of,” said McCloy, a nursing major from Herriman. “We came out strong, put them on their heels, and we felt good at halftime.”
The second half ended up much like the second half of the game against APU.
The Sea Lions tied the game 1-1 in the 55th minute. PLNU took its first lead of the game minutes later off the heals of a breakaway by the Sea Lions.
DSU could not overcome its first deficit of the game and ultimately fell 2-1. This was the second time in three games the Trailblazers lost after leading in the second half.
“We got too comfortable with our lead,” said McCloy. “We let our guard down. We know championship teams like PLNU won’t go away.”
Offensive struggles continued to haunt the Trailblazers, who only tallied one goal in the first two games of conference play.
“We have to have more possessions and stop making crucial errors,” Bingham said. “We need our players to be more dangerous on offense, and we will be making adjustments.”
Following the two losses, the Trailblazers are now 2-5 on the season and 0-2 in PacWest play. DSU hosts Holy Names University Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Legend Solar Stadium.