By SUU ATHLETICS STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION
For Iron County Today
CEDAR CITY–The seven-game, non-conference road stretch is over, the first home match is in the bag, and now the Southern Utah University soccer team is ready to hit the road once again to open Big Sky play in Portland, Oregon and Missoula, Montana this weekend.
Last Sunday the Thunderbirds hosted Florida Atlantic University for their first home game and last non-conference game of 2017. Southern Utah got on top early, but eventually fell to the Owls 3-2 in the final 18 seconds of play. Ally Thimsen scored her first goal of the season pulling within one of the SUU all-time goal scoring record. Payton Wells also scored for the Thunderbirds, her second of the season, and Meghan DeHerrera was credited with assists on both goals.
The Thunderbirds finished non-conference play with a 1-7-0 record with their only win coming over the Wolf Pack of Nevada.
Scouting Report: Portland State Vikings
The Vikings will come into Friday’s match having finished 3-5-0 in non-conference play. Their three wins came over Nevada, George Fox University, and Chicago State. The Vikings outscored opponents 11-0 in their wins, but scored just three goals total in their five losses. Katie Forsee and Kasey Isobe lead the offensive attack for Portland State. They have nine goals, two assists, and two Big Sky Offensive Player of the Week honors between the two of them so far in 2017.
Last season the Thunderbirds beat the Vikings 3-2 in overtime to close out homecoming weekend in Cedar City. Southern Utah holds a 2-3-1 all-time record when facing PSU and could tie up the series with a win this weekend.
Scouting Report: Montana Grizzlies
The Grizzlies head into Big Sky play with a 5-4-1 record so far in 2017. They went 3-1 against Mountain West opponents during non-conference play with wins over Boise State, Air Force, and San Jose State. Montana has held opponents to just eight total goals this season, posting shutouts over BSU, Air Force, and Washington State. Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Claire Howard was named Big Sky Defensive Player of the Week last week for allowing just one total goal in two games against Pac-12 opponents.
The Thunderbirds hold a 0-4-2 record all-time when matched up against the Grizzlies. Last season Southern Utah hosted Montana for senior day, but the Grizzlies were able to escape Cedar City with the 2-0 win.
Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. Mountain time in Portland on Friday. Sunday’s match in Missoula will start at 1 p.m. Mountain time. Both games will be streamed live on Pluto TV (channel 232 for PSU and channel 237 for Montana). Links to live stats are available at suutbirds.com.