Second-half goals spark Griz to 3-1 victory
Published: September 5, 2014
The Montana soccer team faced two hours of delays before its game at Houston Baptist Friday night, first from lightning, then from a men’s game that went 110 minutes. When the Grizzlies finally got on the field, they scored three second-half goals to knock off the Huskies 3-1 at HBU’s Sorrels Field.
After the teams played a scoreless first half, Montana (3-2-0) scored three goals in a 20-minute window early in the second half to improve to 3-0 this season in Friday matches.
Houston Baptist (1-4-0) scored in the 84th minute to spoil what would have been the Grizzlies’ third shutout of the year.
“With all the delays, I thought we came out really well tonight,” said UM coach Mark Plakorus, whose team had to wait three and a half hours after arriving on HBU’s campus before the second game of the doubleheader finally started.
“It was Houston Baptist’s home opener, and they were pretty excited about playing us. It was kind of feisty the first 15 or 20 minutes, then I thought we settled into the game and played really well.”
Montana mostly controlled the action in the first half -- the Grizzlies had eight corner kicks to none for the Huskies -- but the teams went into the break deadlocked at 0-0.
Senior Chloe Torres opened the match’s scoring in the 52nd minute off a free kick. It was her first goal of the season, the second of her career, and gives her four points in Montana’s last three matches.
Junior Mackenzie Akins scored the game-winner in the 66th minute when senior Tyler Adair played a ball up the left side and Akins converted for her second goal of the year. The assist gave Adair her first point of the season.
“In the second half we were better with our runs in the final third and the decisions we made going to goal,” said Plakorus. “We were able to spread them out a little bit better, and then we finished the opportunities we had.”
After a number of near misses this season, freshman Hallie Widner finally broke through and scored her first collegiate goal in the 73rd minute, unassisted.
“That was great for Hallie, because she’s been playing so well. It’s only the fifth game, but it feels like it’s been a long time coming,” said Plakorus. “Hopefully this kind of opens the door for her.”
Houston Baptist took only six shots in the match. They scored in the 84th minute when Kristi O’Brien knocked in a free kick on what would be the Huskies’ final shot of the match.
Griz sophomore goalkeeper Kailey Norman made two saves to pick up her third win of the season.
It was Montana’s third victory in three Friday matches this season. In two days the Grizzlies will try to win their first Sunday match of the season when they face unbeaten Texas (3-0-2) at Austin.
The Longhorns, who have scored 11 goals their last two matches, pounded Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 6-1 Friday night. Sunday’s match kicks off at 6:30 p.m. (MT) and will be aired on the Longhorn Network.
“The first thing we need to do is enjoy this one, because any time you go on the road and get a win, that’s a good thing,” said Plakorus.
“Tomorrow we can start worrying about Texas. It will be a matter of focusing ourselves and making sure we’re mentally prepared as well as physically when we step on the field Sunday night.”