Non-league action continued this week highlighted by men’s programs getting fully underway around the region. The state of Washington was the focal point as its sides swept in matches against teams from Idaho while Spokane played host to the Red Lion Challenge’s men’s soccer event featuring NAIA teams from Montana and Oregon.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs and College of Idaho each had a pair of matches this week.
The College of Idaho Coyotes kicked the week off with a cross-town exhibition against Northwest Nazarene. The two sides played to a 1-1 draw in Nampa in which the Coyotes took the initial lead through Joseph Bolin (Payette, ID) with three minutes remaining before the break, striking from 10 yards out with an assist from Jorge Brambila. The Crusaders found the equalizer in the 63rd minute courtesy of Daniel Clarke, who gathered a deflection and fired home from 25 yards.
The Coyotes, however, got off to a rough start in official play with a pair of losses at the Westminster Tournament in Salt Lake City, falling in a pair of shutouts. They allowed two first-half goals to Hope International University (Fullerton, CA) Friday in a 3-0 loss to the Royals.
On Sunday, the Coyotes took the lead against the hosts seven minutes in with a goal from Emilio Yomaha that narrowly got by Griffins’ netminder. The goal stood as the lone tally until the final 14 minutes with the Westminster pulling even in the 76th and finding the 2-1 winner three minutes from time. Wilson Larson (Boise, ID) had an assist on the equalizer along with another in the team’s previous 2-0 win versus Hope International.
The Bulldogs of Gonzaga opened the season Friday in Seattle against the University of Washington. The Zags took the initial lead just before the break when James Matern (Spokane, WA) drove into the corner and found Clark Phillips on the cross for the opener, giving Gonzaga hope of posting its second win in 26 meetings with the Huskies.
With 14 minutes left however, a controversial header from Dylan Tucker-Gangnes off a corner leveled the score despite shouts for a handball that went unseen. The goal forced overtime, where another James Moberg corner found Ian Lange for the winning strike just over six minutes into extra time.
“The first one was a handball. We were kind of disappointed with the referee not seeing that, but that’s the way it goes” Gonzaga head coach Einar Thorarinsson said of the match. “The second one they just beat us to; we just couldn’t get to it and beat us in overtime. I think we outplayed them in that game. If you watch it, definitely we outplayed them.”
The Bulldogs, however, recovered well Sunday at home in their second match despite falling behind early to Seattle University. Trailing since Race Sciabica’s 15th minute tally, the Zags got two back-to-back from Lars Ludwigs and Conner Bevans, assisted by Clark Phillips, in the 71st and 74th minutes of the match.
In the Red Lion Challenge between the NAIA’s Cascade Collegiate Conference and Frontier Conferences held in Spokane, the two Montana schools from the Frontier dominated the weekend with a sweep over the four games and a 10-1 aggregate scoreline.
The 21st ranked University of Great Falls battled by a tough Northwest Christian side in the opener Thursday, 1-0, on a second half strike from Danny Delgadillo, who scored two more in a come-from-behind win, 3-1, Friday against Warner Pacific, giving him five goals in three games.
Rocky Mountain College (Billings, MT) blanked the two CCC sides, posting a 4-0 win against NCU Friday evening on strikes from four different players, including Nick Heffernan, who recorded a goal and an assist. Opening the scoring with the lone first half goal was Oliver Gore, who went on to score both goals in Saturday’s 2-0 victory against Warner Pacific. Mikey Wall (Billings, MT) had an assist in both matches and Joachim Soderstrom picked up the two clean sheets.
It was a full week for many of the region’s schools, but Gonzaga was the lone school among those playing twice to finish victorious in both. The Zags started things off with a 3-2 victory in Moscow against the University of Idaho. Gonzaga fell behind early with Jill Flockhart finishing a Megan Lopez cross from 20 yards 10 minutes in for the Vandals.
Six minutes later Emma Dolcetti capped a three-goal blitz before the break for Gonzaga on an assist from Anna Lund. Sila Tuiofea set up Ali Ohashi, who one-timed the cross in the 31st, for the equalizer and Kellyn Nelson headed in a Tori Lee corner for what proved to be the winner in the 42nd as the Zags took a 3-1 lead to the break. Idaho tried to rally with Meli Cortez one-timing a cross from Amber Pimley in the 69th, but it was not enough.
Gonzaga returned home and completed a weekend sweep of Idaho teams by downing Boise State University Sunday, 2-1. In an even contest Jessica Bennett (Spokane) scored the opener in the 40th minute with the Broncos answering seconds before the break through Erica Parks (Nampa, ID). Heather Johnson (Kennewick, WA) became the fifth goalscorer of the weekend for the Zags, finding the winner six minutes into the second half.
The close contest was a positive, though, for the Broncos, who were coming off a devastating 6-0 loss in Pullman to Washington State Friday. Rachael Doyle and Brandi Vega each had a goal and an assist in the first half on either side of a Micaela Castain penalty. Castain would add another strike in the second half along with goals from Beau Bremer and goal and assist from Kourtney Guetlein.
The Vandals rebounded Sunday in their second match, downing visiting North Dakota State, 2-0, with a pair of second half goals. Flockhart beat a defender before sending the ball to Chelsea Small for a 70th minute tap-in. Breanna Wilson (Bend, OR) tapped in another in the 84th minute off a cross from Katie Baran (Spokane).
The Bison of NDSU were coming off a thrilling back-and-forth 3-2 victory in Cheney against Eastern Washington University Friday. The Eagles had to find an equalizer twice in the contest. After falling behind in the seventh minute, Kayla Sutter found a little fortune on a 35 yard free kick when goalkeeper Sierra Bonham bobbled the ball as it crossed the line. Even in the second half, NDSU again assumed the lead in the 63rd only to see the Eagles answer quickly again. This time a 25 yard shot from Alisha Stott was just barely over the reach of Bonham’s fingertips. The Bison would take the lead again for good in the 84th.
Two days later in Seattle, the Eagles were blanked, 3-0, by the Redhawks with Taylor Ritzman putting three second half goals post Eastern Washington for the win.
Things did not go any better for fellow Big Sky member Montana, which was on a two-game trip to the state of Texas for the TCU Invitational in Fort Worth after spending last weekend in Colorado and Wyoming.
Former TCU head coach Mark Plakorus took his Grizzlies to the break Friday in a scoreless stalemate in his first trip back to face the Horned Frogs he coached for six years. Kate Wilkins, Mary Makris and Tyler Adair had chances in the first half, but would regret their failure to score when a former Plakorus recruit gave TCU what stood as the 1-0 winner nine minutes into the second half from 18 yards out.
Texas Tech tamed the Grizzlies two days later with a dominating 4-0 victory with Jessica Fuston posting a hat-trick in the win as the Red Raiders scored twice in each half.
Eastern Oregon took a trip to Montana for a pair of matches, but just as things went in the Red Lion Challenge, the Frontier Conference duo of Great Falls and Rocky Mountain were victorious.
Despite scoring first and outshooting their hosts, Eastern Oregon fell Friday at Great Falls in overtime. Erika Whitehurst (Bend, OR) opened the scoring in the 38th minute only to see Ashley Todd (Cardwell, MT) score in the final minute of the half to level terms, and ultimately take the match to overtime as they remained deadlocked through the second 45. The freshman would score again for the Argos six minutes into overtime.
The Mountaineers gave up two goals in each half Sunday in Billings as Rocky Mountain blanked Eastern Oregon, 4-0, with Kirsty Montignani tallying two goals and an assist.
The College of Idaho joined the men’s side in Salt Lake City, falling in the first game against Avila University (Missouri), 3-1, Saturday despite being even at the break. After giving up the opener 12 minutes in, Jessica Ayala (Eagle, ID) equalized for the Coyotes in the 38th minute. A pair of Millie Brown goals, however, gave Avila the win in the second half. A day later the 22nd ranked Westminster Griffins were too much for the Coyotes in a 4-0 victory with Amanda Peppers and Alyssa Hill each scoring twice. Margo Hickman (Boise, ID) had an assist.