The Dixie State University women’s soccer team defended home field and won both of its conference games this week.
After losing its first two Pacific West Conference games on the road last week, DSU came home to face Holy Names University Tuesday and Fresno Pacific University Saturday.
DSU beat HNU 1-0, and then beat FPU in a 3-2 shootout.
Both wins were by one goal, and both games saw DSU hold onto second half leads en route to winning the games and inserting themselves back into PacWest title contention.
“I think this week we just realized that when we come to play, we are capable of winning every game we play,” said senior midfielder Megan Spencer, an exercise science major from Springville. “We just have to capitalize in the beginning and play hard the whole 90 minutes.”
Against HNU, the Trailblazers were offensively aggressive in the first half but could not connect on any of its 10 shot attempts. The defense stood firm and limited HNU to just one shot and both teams entered the half tied 0-0.
The Trailblazers scored the only goal of the game in the 58th minute. Redshirt freshman defender Kilee Lamb used a free kick opportunity to pass the ball across the field to senior defender Aubri Detmer, a nursing major from Austin, Texas, who scored the goal from 25 yards out.
The Trailblazer defense continued to hold strong for the remainder of the game, only allowing two total shots by HNU. DSU held on for a 1-0 shutout victory.
“We had a lot of composure tonight,” Detmer said. “Normally we are pretty frantic, but tonight, we found our groove and settled in.”
After struggling to finish games in its first two conference games, the Trailblazers found a way to finish HNU.
“This team goes into every game ready to give 100 percent,” head coach Kacey Bingham said. “The question has been [whether or not] we can maintain it for 90 minutes, and tonight we did a good job of that.”
DSU then took on FPU, who were undefeated in conference play heading into the game Saturday.
The Sunbirds drew first blood with a successful penalty kick in the 25th minute. DSU fired back in the 36th minute when Spencer fired the ball into the goal from nine yards out off a pass from freshman defender Bailey Kroll.
Just before the half, junior forward Darian McCloy got the ball by the Sunbird goalie on a breakaway. DSU lead 2-1 after the first frame.
Neither team was able to find a goal until late into the second half. DSU extended its lead to 3-1 when McCloy scored her second goal of the game in the 72nd minute following a set up pass from redshirt senior forward Erica Gonzalez.
FPU scored its second goal of the game in the 82nd minute after connecting on another penalty kick.
DSU held firm in the final minutes of the game and handed FPU its first conference loss of the year.
“I felt our defense was really strong tonight,” said junior defender Montana Hadley, an accounting major from Bountiful. “We didn’t give them many opportunities and the fact that their only goals were on [penalty kicks] really says something about our defense.”
The Trailblazers, who are 4-5 overall and 2-2 in conference play, head to Hawaii this week for a four game road stand beginning with BYU-Hawaii Saturday.