SPOKANE, Wash. – The Gonzaga University women’s soccer team dropped a 1-0 decision to Fresno State in its home opener Friday at the Gonzaga Soccer Field. The loss was the third-straight for the Bulldogs, who are now 1-3 on the year. Fresno State earned its first victory of the season with the shutout win and is now also 1-3.
Fresno State’s game-winning goal came in the 25th minute and was a free kick that turned into a goal. The visiting Bulldogs were awarded the free kick after a Zag foul; which occurred in Fresno State’s half of the field, nearly 15 yards from midfield. Ariana Holmes served up a long ball on the free kick and the power and distance behind the kick took Gonzaga keeper Christie Tombari off guard and it sailed over her head and into the goal.
Gonzaga didn’t have many opportunities in the first half, uncharacteristically getting off only one shot attempt.
The Zags regrouped in the second half though and outshot Fresno State 13-2, with eight of their shots coming in the final 10 minutes.
Junior Tori Lee had three of the Bulldogs eight shot opportunities in the final 10 minutes, including one off a free kick just outside the 18-yard box that bent wide left and a flick off a long throw-in that nailed the post.
Probably the best chance for Gonzaga in the frantic ending of the match came from freshman Karley Baggerly at 89:26. She hit a shot from the right side of the pitch that forced Fresno State keeper Katie DeVault to dive to her right to save it. DeVault was only able to softly push it away from the goal line but no Zag player was there for the second chance shot.
Sophomore substitute Kellyn Nelson also had a great chance to tie the match in the 73rd minute. Nelson was played a ball back which she hit first time towards the goal. The looping ball lofted over DeVault but clanked the cross bar.
Zag freshman keeper Sarah Swanson saw her first collegiate minutes in the match, playing 66 minutes between the goal posts.
The Bulldogs look to regroup and get back on the winning track when they host Oregon State University at the Gonzaga Soccer Field Sunday, Sept. 15 at 1 p.m.