Thunderbird soccer prepares for final non-conference road trip


From SUU Sports Communications

CEDAR CITY–It’s been a slow start to 2017 for the Southern Utah University soccer team, but the Thunderbirds will look to turn things around this weekend against the Nevada Wolf Pack and the Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers.

The Thunderbirds played just one match last week, as they traveled to Iowa City Thursday night to take on the Iowa Hawkeyes. Hawkeye Devin Burns put together her first career hat trick in the first 11 minutes of play, setting the tone as the Thunderbirds fell 8-1. MaKenzie Lawrence put the Thunderbirds on the board with her second goal of the season in the 39th minute of play on an assist from Meghan DeHerrera.

In what has been a bright spot all season, the Thunderbirds continue to lead the Big Sky in fouls per game. They have kept their contact to a minimum all season, averaging just 5.60 fouls per game in their five contests so far. They hold nearly a three foul lead over the next lowest in Northern Arizona at 8.40 fouls per game.

The Wolf Pack will enter Friday’s match with a 1-4 record so far in 2017. Their only win came in their most recent home match, a 3-2 win over Sacramento State. Nevada has been shutout in four out of five contests, including 1-0 losses to both Portland State and Northern Arizona. Three different players have scored goals for the Wolf Pack this season, including junior Rylee Peterson who led the team in points in 2016.

These two programs have only matched up once before when the Wolf Pack took a 2-0 victory over the Thunderbirds in the 2002 UNLV Classic. The Thunderbirds will be the fourth of six Big Sky opponents the Wolf Pack will play in 2017.

The Panthers come into the weekend as one of five teams in NCAA Division I that have yet to allow a goal in 2017. They currently hold a 5-0-1 record on the season, shutting out all six of their opponents to date, including a 0-0 draw with Akron to open the season. Redshirt senior goalkeeper Mallory Geurts has been the goalkeeper in all six shutouts, making 24 saves on 62 shots faced. Freshman Mackenzie Schill leads the team in goals scored with three in her first season as a Panther.

This will be the first meeting between the Thunderbirds and the Panthers in the history of the two programs.

Friday’s match in Reno is set to kick off at 7:30 p.m. Mountain time. The game will be broadcast on the Mountain West Network. Links to live stats and a live video stream can be found at suutbirds.com or nevadawolfpack.com.

Sunday’s match in Milwaukee is an early one, with kick off is set for 11:00 a.m. Mountain time. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3. Links to live stats and a live video stream can be found at suutbirds.com or mkepanthers.com.

 

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