Opening weekend of the collegiate season in the Inland Northwest kicked off in earnest Friday with five official matches. Gonzaga, Boise State, Idaho State and Montana earned victories while the University of Idaho fell. Washington State got the better of Eastern Washington in an exhibition and Rocky Mountain College also earned an exhibition win.
The Gonzaga women opened the season Friday with a 3-1 home victory against the University of South Dakota. Emma Dolcetti opened the scoring just two minutes into the contest with an assist from Katey Pennington (Boise, ID). Freshman Sila Tuiofea doubled the lead before the half when she drove into the box from the right side and tucked the ball inside the near post in the 32nd minute. She added a second in the 72nd minute on an 18-yard effort. Colleen Reeves spoiled the shutout for Gonzaga, taking advantage of a bounced goalkeeper Susan Brown misjudged and saw go over her head for the easy Reeves finish.
Boise State also won its opening game of the season, edging visiting New Mexico State, 1-0, on a goal from Rebe Wolverton in the 67th minute. Whitney Peterson (Meridian, ID) was part of a trio that anchored the back line for a full 90 in the clean sheet.
The University of Montana kicked things off with a 2-0 road win against Wyoming Friday - their first ever season-opening shutout road victory. Ashley Tombelaine opened the scoring 16 minutes in and Erin Craig (Great Falls, MT) doubled the lead in the 56th, beating the keeper to head in a free kick from six yards.
Big Sky foe Idaho State had much more work in their opener, a 3-2 overtime decision against North Dakota State. Rachel Strawn was the hero on the day, first notching an equalizer a minute after NDS had taken the lead in the 10th. Kiley Godfrey gave the hosts the lead in the 64th with NDS matching ISU's earlier feat with an equalizer a minute later. Strawn added her second three minutes into overtime.
The University of Idaho did not have the same fortunes, falling, 2-1, on the road versus Texas Tech Friday due to early and late strikes. The Red Raiders took the lead after just one minute and held the advantage until the 78th minute when Spokane Shine defender Chelsie Breen (Cheney, WA) finished a combination play off a corner sent in by Katie Baran and flicked on by Meli Cortez. Goalkeeper Liz Boyden (Spokane, WA) was unable to keep things level, though, as she was unable to reach a 20-yard effort sent upper corner by the hosts in the 83rd.
In an exhibition, Washington State blanked Eastern Washington, 2-0, in Pullman. Beau Bremer opened the scoring in the 32nd minute when she finished on a Brandi Vega free kick. Just before the break, Korynn Blanksma (Wenatchee, WA) doubled the lead when she finished a cross from Bremer from three yards out in the 44th minute.
In another women's exhibition, Rocky Mountain College defeated the University of Mary, 3-2.
A surprising defeat for Memphis as they were drubbed, 5-1, on the road, ending eight-game win streaks in season openers and against the SEC as well as a 17-game unbeaten status in August. The Tipers were behind by two goals when the Spokane Shine's Averi Hallman (Spokane, WA) set up Tine Schryvers for her first career goal in the 51st minute, but it was not enough. Memphis was not the only ranked team to fall around the nation as North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Notre Dame and West Virginia all lost.
Other game(s) of note:
Univ of Washington 2:0 Seattle U