OGDEN — After knocking on the door for the past two weeks, the Wildcats finally got an answer.
Freshman forward Stacy Bair, who returned to the lineup after missing the past three matches with injury, smashed home a cross from freshman forward Mackenzie Harrison in the 31st minute to lift the Weber State University women’s soccer team to a 1-0 victory over in-state rival Utah Valley on Wednesday afternoon at Wildcat Soccer Field.
“It felt good to get a goal; we hadn’t scored yet, so it was good to score one,” Bair said. “I got hurt in our first game, so it felt good to get back on the field. I just wanted to go out and play and try to help my team.”
Weber State commanded possession of the ball for a sizable majority of the match, moving the ball from the back to the middle to the front well, but many of those quality attacks came up a pass or two short from becoming truly dangerous.
The Wildcats finished with a season-high 15 shots, placing five of them on frame, while Utah Valley finished with 13 shots, placing four on frame.
“It was good to finally get a win; we’ve been close, but finally getting a goal and a win will give us some confidence,” freshman midfielder Chansi Crompton said. “We just need to keep improving and keep getting better.”
Weber State roared out the gates early in the match, racking up the first five shots of the contest in the opening seven minutes.
Bair, who came on as a 17th minute substitute, finally ended Weber State’s goalless drought in the 31st minute when she knocked the ball home from six yards out after Harrison worked the ball into the six-yard box from the left angle.
As the Wolverines’ defense collapsed on Harrison, the speedy freshman swung the ball across the goalmouth to Bair for the finish.
Utah Valley was able to create a handful of solid strike attempts using its counter-based offense, but Weber State goalkeeper Ryann Waldman made a handful of strong saves to preserve the Wildcats’ first shutout of the season.
“It was nice to finally get the lid off and get a goal, but we didn’t really blow it off. It’s not like we scored a bunch of goals,” Weber State coach Tim Crompton said. “I believe we’re a very good team, but we still have some work to do.”
Weber State will quickly return to action as it travels to El Paso, Texas, to meet the UTEP Miners at 7 p.m. on Friday night. The Wildcats will face New Mexico State on Sunday at 1 p.m. to wrap up a three-match, five-day stretch.