DENVER – The University of Denver women’s soccer team got a 47th minute goal from senior Anna Willis (Centennial, Colo.) to top San Francisco 1-0 on Friday night at CIBER Field at the University of Denver Soccer Stadium. Friday’s match was the second of five-straight at home for the Pioneers.
“I thought we had some good possession in the first half,” head coach Jeff Hooker said. “Our runs were a little too simplistic, and our balls in the box were just a little bit late. We talked about having multiple people making multiple runs. Taylor (Ivins), especially, was doing a great job of holding balls, but was left by herself in the first half. This is one of those grind-it-out wins that we talked about having to get this season at times. I’m proud of our effort to keep the cleansheet tonight.”
For the third-consecutive match, and the fourth match in Denver’s last five, the Pioneers went into the locker room with a scoreless opening 45 minutes on their hands. DU held a 5-3 lead in shots and a 2-1 edge in corners at the intermission, controlling the possession for most of the half.
Willis scored her second in as many matches to find the breakthrough in the 47th minute on assists from classmate Francesca Garzelloni (Parker, Colo.) and freshman Jocelyn Loomis (Sandy, Utah). An attack that started down the left was quickly switched as Loomis and Garzelloni linked up passes to find Willis’s run down the right half of the penalty area. Willis took a quick touch, and played the ball off a sliding USF keeper Madalyn Schiffel’s legs and into the back of the net.
“It was one of those gutty and hardworking goals that I think Anna needed,” Hooker said. “We got on her a bit last week for being a little shy, timid and not tackling hard enough. That goal just goes to show if you throw your body in the mix, good things are going to happen. She did a great job of running through the play and anticipating the ball in behind a couple passes in advance.”
Sophomore Cassidy Rey (Arcadia, Calif.) returned in-between the pipes off her suspension for the denial of a goal scoring opportunity at Colorado, keeping her second cleansheet of the season, recording four saves and dealing with three corner kicks in the process.
“I thought our centerbacks didn’t communicate with the rest of the team towards the end to see the match out,” Hooker said. “The best save Cassidy made I thought was the ball that got looped over her head. Most keepers don’t dive up, and dive back on those kind of balls, but I thought she did a great job of making herself big and tipping it over the bar.”
Denver has the rest of the weekend off before playing the third game of its five match homestand on Thursday, when the Pioneers host BYU at 7 p.m. MT. The match will air live on Altitude 2.
Don't miss out on Pioneer soccer action this fall. Season and individual game tickets are on sale now. Fans interested in purchasing tickets can do so by phone at 303-871-2336, in person at the Ritchie Center box office or through DenverPioneers.com by clicking here.
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