CEDAR CITY – Junior midfielder Lexie Morgan scored the match’s only goal as the Utah State soccer team prevailed over Southern Utah in its only exhibition of the season, 1-0, in Cedar City, Utah on Saturday.
“The first half was a little shaky. You could tell that it was our exhibition. We were finalizing some combinations, and we had a lot of new players on the field. It was a little shaky, and in the first half we weren’t playing like we had practiced. In the second half, we were able to make a few adjustments, and then we played some really good soccer,” USU head coach Heather Cairns said.
The Aggies were able to up the pressure in the second half after a scoreless first half. After only four shots in the first half, USU broke out for nine in the second. Off the bench, freshman midfielder/forward Jessica Brooksby led the Aggies’ attack with three shots.
Utah State got on the board in the 62nd minute. From the defensive center midfielder position, Morgan kept dribbling past Thunderbird defenders and drilled the ball past SUU goalkeeper Tessa Christensen. Last season, Morgan was tied for fifth on the team in scoring with two goals and one assist for five points.
Sophomore Jeannie Woller started in goal for the Aggies, playing the first 45 minutes. Both freshman Sara Cobb and redshirt freshman Natalie Stoven both saw time in goal in the second half, for the combined shutout.
The Aggies were able to get playing time for several new components, as well as many veteran players. Overall, 26 of the 32 players on USU’s roster saw time on Saturday.
Last season when the teams met, former Aggie Kendra Pemberton knocked in the lone goal to give Utah State a 1-0 win in the Aggies’ only exhibition of the season at Chuck and Gloria Bell Soccer Field.
Utah State returns 17 letterwinners and eight starters from last year’s team that finished 13-3-6 and captured their second-straight Western Athletic Conference Tournament title, while reaching their second NCAA Tournament in as many years.
This is the USU’s first season in the Mountain West after eight seasons in the WAC. During its time in the WAC, Utah State won four league titles in the last five seasons, including WAC Tournament titles.
Earlier this week, USU was picked tied for third in the MW Preseason Poll by the 11 league coaches. San Diego State was picked first, while New Mexico was picked second. UNLV and Utah State were tied for the third spot.
The first regular-season match will take place on Friday, Aug. 23 against Creighton in Logan at 4 p.m. Last season, the Aggies and the Bluejays tied, 1-1, in Omaha. Head coach Heather Cairns was an assistant coach at Creighton from 1999-2002.
Admission to all Aggie soccer home matches at Chuck and Gloria Bell Soccer Field is free.
Fans can follow USU soccer at http://twitter.com/USUsoccer and Utah State athletics at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics. Fans can also follow Aggies soccer on Instagram at http://instagram.com/USUsoccer.