Locker Leads Women's Soccer Past Saint Francis, 1-0
Aug. 22, 2012
SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego State women's soccer team used a late second-half goal from sophomore Haley Locker to defeat Saint Francis, 1-0, on Wednesday evening at the SDSU Sports Deck. With the win, the Aztecs start a season at 3-0 for the first time since 1999 and just the fourth occasion overall in program history. The Red Flash, meanwhile, drop to 1-1 on the year.
SDSU started the game firing on all cylinders as it notched six consecutive shot attempts in the first eight and half minutes of play. The best opportunity for the Aztecs came in the opening minutes as senior Megan Jurado took a cross from freshman Victoria Barba and attempted a shot in front of the net. Jurado was unsuccessful though, as a crowd of Saint Francis defenders prevented her from connecting on her try.
Kelsey Booth then tallied three straight shots in a span of a minute. The sophomore's first attempt came at the 4:27 mark when she watched an attempt get blocked. Less than a minute later, she nearly connected but Red Flash goalkeeper Brianna Butcher notched the save. Booth attempted another shot seven seconds later, but it went just to the left.
Barba then found her way back in the mix when she tallied an attempt from 15 yards out in the 6th minute, but had it go just off the post. Two and a half minutes later, Barba notched another shot that sailed off to the left.
Both teams battled for about eight minutes, but SDSU was still in control. Booth would notch her fourth shot of the game at the 16:23 mark, but watch Butcher tally the save. Jurado then looked to have a good look two minutes later. Her shot, however, went just left of the net. Barba was next with a shot, but Butcher notched another save.
The Aztecs continued to fire shot attempts at Butcher over the next 10 minutes or so, but watched each one go everywhere but into the net. SDSU's next best opportunity came at the 32:28 mark when sophomore Mariah Helmer attempted a shot that Butcher once again stopped. The next two attempts by juniors Soledad Gomez and Jensen Skinner found the same fate as Butcher notched two more saves.
For the half, the Aztecs outshot Saint Francis by a 17-0 margin including a 2-0 advantage in corner kicks. Booth led all players with five shots, including two on goal. Barba, meanwhile, had three shots and one on net.
SDSU tallied its first shot of the second half in the 58th minute on Booth's seventh attempt on the evening. The Red Flash then finally managed to get a shot off five minutes later, but had it go wide.
The Aztecs then stepped up their intensity on offense and it was evident. After a shot by redshirt Tiffany Hurst went wide, three consecutive attempts by Skinner, senior Sarah Halverson and freshman Tiffany Geer were blocked by Saint Francis defenders in a span of four minutes. After another shot by Hurst was blocked, SDSU made a few substitutions.
The strategy paid off for the Aztecs a few minutes later as Jurado sent a corner kick toward the net and Locker headed it in to give the Aztecs a 1-0 lead at the 78:38 mark. It was Locker's second goal of the season and ultimately the game-winner.
Saint Francis kept things interesting in the final 12 minutes, however, tallying two more shot attempts that were both saved by redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Rachel Boaz. The Red Flash wouldn't get any closer though as SDSU picked up its third win of the season.
For the game, the Aztecs outshot Saint Francis 26-4 (8-2 shots on goal), and won the corner kick battle, 4-0. Boaz earned her third consecutive shutout victory as she notched two saves to improve to 3-0, while Butcher dropped to 1-1 despite tallying seven saves.
The Aztecs will now prepare for Seattle U on Friday. The non-conference tilt is scheduled for a 5 p.m. PT start at the SDSU Sports Deck.