The University of Idaho women’s soccer team has won its first two games in the Big Sky Conference and hopes to be building momentum after finishing a tough non- conference schedule with a record of 0-9.
The Vandals defeated North Dakota 1-0 on Sunday after winning its conference opener on Friday.
Sophomore Kavita Battan, who scored the game winner in each of those wins, said the team had much more confidence coming into Sunday’s game after Friday’s win. “We did exactly what we needed to do to get the win,” she said after Sunday’s game. “The momentum from Friday’s game came to today’s game.”
(Screen capture of Idaho’s Kavita Battan talking with writers after Sunday’s game is from Vandal Athletics video)
“We gained a lot of confidence from Friday in the sense that we were able to execute our game plan,” Idaho coach Derek Pittman said in a statement after the game. “Sundays are always tough, it is difficult because you have to play another game within 48 hours, but our kids found a way to come out and grind it out.
Battan scored the game-winner Sunday in the 21st minute after keeper Torell Stewart punted the ball and connected with Battan, who scored from 10 yards out.
(The celebration following Sunday’s game winner. Photo courtesy Spencer Farrin)
“I definitely think that getting an early goal definitely put the other team on their heels and got our spirits up and we were ready to go,” Battan said. “We just kept pushing and pushing and pushing. We might not have gotten another goal but we definitely had the opportunities and we were confident in ourselves to keep going.”
“I think this win, more than anything proves to the team that what we have been doing the past nine weeks is paying off,” Pittman said. “We had a difficult non-conference schedule that helped to prepare us for Big Sky play. The team believes in our game play, they trust themselves and the coaching staff and this weekend they went out and executed it on both days.”
The Vandals are back in action on the road against Southern Utah Friday at 3 p.m. PT.
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