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Tombelaine scores twice, leads Griz to 2-1 victory

Published: October 15, 2011
Junior Ashley Tombelaine scored twice, including the game-winning penalty kick in the 81st minute, to lead the Montana soccer team to a 2-1 victory over Idaho State Saturday afternoon at Davis Field in Pocatello, Idaho. The win improved the Grizzlies to 5-9-2 overall and to .500 in Big Sky Conference matches at 2-2-1. Montana is currently in a tie for third in the league standings, with two matches yet to be played Sunday afternoon before all eight teams have reached five matches. Idaho State dropped to 4-10-1, 1-4-0 in Big Sky play. The match was tied 1-1 entering the final 10 minutes of regulation when the decisive play evolved. Tombelaine took possession of the ball inside the 18-yard, and an ISU defender clipped Tombelaine and knocked her down. She drilled the ensuing penalty kick one direction, Idaho State keeper Carly Hutchings-Maloney went the other direction, and Montana had its second league win of the season. “Any road win in conference is a good thing and a big thing,” UM coach Mark Plakorus said. “This one had maybe a little bit more emphasis, because we needed this one to get into the conference race.” Idaho State grabbed early momentum when the Bengals opened the scoring less than three minutes in. On ISU’s small field, Mikaela Carrillo was able to put her throw-in into the box, and Ashley Jones headed in her fourth goal of the season. The goal was hardly indicative of the opening 45 minutes. Montana outshot Idaho State 11 to 2, but the Bengals had a 1-0 lead at the break thanks to Hutchings-Maloney’s three first-half saves. “We talked yesterday, then again today that we’re only missing the final one or two percent of our game,” Plakorus said. “Once we get the ball into the box, it’s about being brave and courageous, and that’s the one or two percent we’ve been leaving out.” Tombelaine scored her second goal of the season and evened the score at 1-1 at 54:57 on a play Plakorus described as “fantastic.” Sophomore India Watne, the Big Sky Conference leader in assists, played a ball in behind the defense. Tombelaine cut the ball back to her left foot to evade a defender and sent a left-footed kick into the upper left-hand corner of the goal. Montana had five more shot opportunities before Tombelaine scored the game-winner at 80:30. Griz junior goalkeeper Kristen Hoon, who kept the Bengals off the scoreboard the final 87:35, made a save on ISU’s Kiley Godfrey in the 85th minute, and that would be Idaho State’s final scoring opportunity. Montana outshot Idaho State for the match, 19 to 7. Tombelaine and sophomore Mary Makris both took four shots, junior Erin Craig three shots and Watne and junior Lauren McCreath two shots. The Big Sky Conference’s final league matches take place next week, and the top four teams in the standings a week from Sunday will make the league tournament. Montana will host Northern Arizona (2-8-6, 1-1-2 BSC) Friday at 3 p.m. at South Campus Stadium, then travel to Greeley, Colo., to face Northern Colorado (6-7-2, 3-1-0 BSC) Sunday at noon. Northern Arizona plays at Portland State (6-7-1, 2-1-1 BSC) and Northern Colorado plays at Sacramento State (6-7-1, 2-1-1 BSC) Sunday, when a complete picture of the Big Sky will take shape going into the final week of the season. Match notes: Ashley Tombelaine’s second and third goals of the season tie her with India Watne for second on the team behind Erin Craig’s 10. ... Tombelaine had one career goal entering the season. ... Tombelaine scored her first goal of the season in Montana’s 2-1 victory over Wyoming on Aug. 21. ... Watne’s assist on Tombelaine’s first goal gives her eight of Montana’s 18 assists this season. ... The Grizzlies’ 23 goals this season equal the team’s combined output in 2009 and 2010. ... Kristen Hoon made two saves to improve to 4-7-1. ... Hoon, Craig, junior Lauren Costa and sophomore Alyssa Nystrom played all 90 minutes. ... Costa has played every minute this season.
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