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Early deficit once again costly to Montana

Published: September 24, 2011
The University of Montana soccer team gave up the match’s first goal and never held a lead in a 3-2 loss to Utah Valley Saturday night at Orem, Utah. Montana (3-6-1) trailed 2-1 at the half and fell behind 3-1 early in the second half. A goal in the 82nd minute by freshman Brooke Moody, the first of her collegiate career, was the match’s final goal. The Grizzlies also received a goal from sophomore India Watne, her third of the season, in the 29th minute. Her unassisted score came less than a minute after Utah Valley (5-6-0) opened the scoring in the 28th minute and tied the match at 1-1. The goal by the Wolverines to open the scoring continued a damaging trend for the Grizzlies. Montana, the only Big Sky Conference team without a shutout this season, has given up the first goal in seven of its last eight matches. “I need to do a better job of getting us better defensively so that we don’t have to keep fighting from behind,” UM coach Mark Plakorus said. “It’s hard to have to come back all the time.” The loss’s silver lining for Montana is that the Grizzlies found scoring options other than junior Erin Craig, the team’s leading scorer who sat out Saturday’s match to heal a minor injury in the lead-up to the start of Big Sky Conference play next weekend. Craig leads the team with nine goals this season and had a hat trick in Thursday’s 4-4 double-overtime draw with Southern Utah. Freshman Allie Simon, who scored Thursday’s equalizer in the 87th minute, also sat out Saturday’s match. Despite falling behind Saturday, Montana created the better early opportunities. The Grizzlies generated a pair of corner kicks in the match’s first seven minutes. “We came out really well tonight. I love the way we started,” Plakorus said. “I thought we were very dangerous early.” UVU’s Ashley Burdett opened the scoring at 27:39 when she took possession of a loose ball at the top of the box and scored past sophomore keeper Kendra McMillen. Watne tied it at 28:05 when her drive from the right side found the left corner of the goal. McKell Salmon put Utah Valley up for good at 34:15 when she scored against McMillen from 20 yards out. The Wolverines made it 3-1 when Camille Broderick scored from 25 yards out just over five minutes into the second half on junior Kristen Hoon, who replaced McMillen at the break. Montana pulled to within one at 81:44. Freshman Tyler Adair’s shot was saved by UVU keeper Lauren Sack; Moody scored on the rebound that was left directly in front of goal. Moody gives Montana an eighth player who has scored for the Grizzlies this fall. The Grizzlies took two of their five second-half corner kicks in the final four minutes but could not force overtime. “I was very pleased that we didn’t quit tonight, or in either match of this trip,” Plakorus said, referencing Thursday’s match when the Grizzlies came back from a 4-1 deficit to earn a 4-4 draw at Southern Utah. “This team is showing it’s going to be very resilient, and that is a great characteristic for a team to possess.” Utah Valley had the advantage in shots – 17 to 9 – Montana had the edge in corner kicks – 8 to 5. Adair led Montana with three shots. Sophomore Mary Makris took two. Montana will open Big Sky Conference play at home next Friday when the Grizzlies host Eastern Washington at South Campus Stadium at 3 p.m.
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