Nevada soccer remains winless
Nevada soccer remains winless
BY DARRELL MOODY
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO – If Nevada could have found a way to play well offensively in the first half this week, it might have won its first two games of the season.
Instead, the Wolf Pack women’s soccer team is 0-2 after dropping a 2-1 non-conference decision to Portland State of the Big Sky Conference Sunday afternoon at Mackay Stadium.
The loss capped an ugly, bizarre week for the program. Coach Terri Patraw, who brought the moribund program to respectability, was fired on Tuesday afternoon just three days before Friday’s opener and replaced by assistant coach Antoinette Marjanovic.
“It has affected us a little,” forward Samantha Miller said. “Nettie and Graeme (Abel, assistant coaches) are good coaches. I don’t think that’s our problem. We’re still lacking chemistry.”
And the ability to get out of the gate quickly.
Against Oregon on Friday, the Pack was outshot 6-1 in the first half, but outshot the Ducks 6-0 in the second half of the 1-0 loss.
On Sunday, Nevada outshot Portland State 8-4 in the first half, but only had a couple of serious scoring opportunities, and those were early in the game. Nevada had a 10-1 advantage in shots in the final 45 minutes.
“We’ve played well in the second half of both games,” Marjanovic said. “We came out flat and made little mistakes that led to two goals. They were mental mistakes. It takes time. We have to get re-focused.”
And start finishing plays.
Blaine Dugan misfired over the goalpost off a corner kick three minutes into the contest and then Karen Zmirak whiffed on a center at the 10-minute mark. In the 24th minute, Miller received a pass from Jessica Thompson, but was unable to convert.
Six minutes later, Oregon’s Tarah Authier took a cross from Dolly Enneking, who beat Nevada’s Marie Cove on a shot to the back post for a 1-0 lead.
Portland State made it 2-0 in the 35th minute when Frankie Ross beat Cove from about 15 yards.
The Wolf Pack woke up in the second half, and really took the game to PSU in the final 45 minutes.
Nevada had three scoring opportunities in the first nine minutes of the second half, one of which forced Lewis to make a sliding stop. The other two attempts were shots that went over the goalpost.
The best opportunity came in the 31st minute when Kenishia Warren fired a shot that bounced off Lewis’ hands. Miller collared the rebound and powered over the net.
Nevada kept attacking over the next five-plus minutes and had three shots on goal, none of which were converted.
The Pack finally got on the board in the 81st minute when Cristen Drummond was pulled down in the penalty box by a PSU defender. Miranda Montejo easily beat Lewis on the penalty kick to make it 2-1.
With the goal, Montejo has recorded 38 career points and is just two points away from becoming the Pack’s all-time leader in points. Kaula Rowe (2000-03) currently holds the career record in points with 39.
Montejo (15 career goals) is now also four goals away from becoming the Pack’s career leader in goals. Rowe also holds the top spot in the career goals category with 18.
The Vikings were able to keep Nevada at bay the rest of the way.
“We finally capitalized on our scoring opportunities,” Portland State coach Tim Bennett said. “I think we hung on. It’s 110 (degrees) out here, and our Northwest girls aren’t used to that. When we got tired, they started to get more aggressive.”
Still, starting 0-2 is not something the Pack expected.
“It’s kind of depressing,” Miller said. “If we can play like we did in the second half … we need to come out a lot stronger. The team plays better when there is something to play for. In the first half, it’s like we’re playing Portland State. In the second half, we really had something to prove.”
NOTES: PSU played without Juli Edwards, its top player … Nevada returns to action Friday at the University of Arizona … Nevada returns home on Sept. 14 for a 7 p.m. game against Sacramento State and then hosts the University of San Francisco Sept. 16 at 1 p.m.
• Contact Darrell Moody at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling (775) 881-1281