MOSCOW, Idaho - The No. 23 University of Denver women's soccer team conceded a goal early, but answered with five-straight goals from five different players to earn a 5-1 road win over Idaho on a snowy Friday afternoon at Guy Wicks Field.
"The snow started to accumulate just before kickoff," head coach Jeff Hooker said. "I think in the beginning of the match, we didn't do a very good job adjusting to a slower field. The goal woke us up, and we started to play some bigger balls, creating more scoring chances. To get two goals back quickly, and before halftime was huge for us. It was nice to be able to spread the scoring among five different players as well."
Idaho (5-13-1, 2-4-1 WAC, 7 pts.) got on the board in the 18th minute on Chelsea Small's eighth goal of the season. The goal came on a Vandals' counter attack, and the assist on the cross was credited to Katie Baran.
The Pioneers (13-1-4, 5-0-2 WAC, 17 pts.) got a foot hold in the match on junior midfielder Nicholette DiGiacomo's (Golden, Colo.) fourth goal of the season in the 27th minute. Denver's equalizer came off a bouncing ball in the box that DiGiacomo got on the end of from 18-yards out.
Denver took the momentum from DiGiacomo's goal and struck again within 90 seconds to make it 2-1. DiGiacomo set the goal up this time, curling a corner in the box that junior center back Jessy Battelli (Golden, Colo.) first-time stuck into the back of the net. The goal was Battelli's first of the season and gave the Pioneers a goal advantage heading into the intermission.
For the third-consecutive match, senior forward Kaitlin Bast (Centennial, Colo.) found the back of the net, this one on an assist from sophomore midfielder Nikki Pappalardo(San Diego, Calif.). Bast finished a Pappalardo cross with her left foot into the side netting from 10-yards out in the 64th minute to give the Pioneers a 3-1 lead.
"Kaitlin getting the third goal took a little bit of the pressure off, because when it's 2-1, the game can still go either way with one play," Hooker said. "Her finish was that of a true center forward."
Freshman forward Taylor Ivins (West Haven, Utah) made it 4-1 on the third goal of her rookie campaign. Junior forward Kristen Hamilton (Littleton, Colo.) played the cross into Ivins, who finished her right-footed shot just inside the far post.
Ivins nearly got her second goal of the match in the 83rd minute, but found the woodwork instead. Sophomore midfielder Anna Willis (Centennial, Colo.) put the rebound into the back of the net to close out the Pioneers scoring in the match. Willis' goal was her second of the campaign.
The Pioneers outshot the Vandals 28-4 (13-1 on goal) and held a 10-6 edge in corners.
Denver concludes the 2012 regular season at Seattle on Sunday. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. A victory guarantees the Pioneers at least a share of the Western Athletic Conference regular season title.
-EXPERIENCE DENVER ATHLETICS-
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