This archived article was written by: Austin Fietkau
The battle at home continued for USUE the last two weeks as they took on Colorado Northwestern Community College, Salt Lake Community College and College of Southern Nevada. The Eagles are on their fourth consecutive week of home games and now hold a record of 4-4-1 going into their last week of conference play.
The Eagles hosted CNCC on Friday, Oct. 7, and Saturday, Oct. 8. The Eagles controlled the field and won the first game 5-2. Fabio Massaro, Italian midfielder for USUE, scored two of their goals. The other three were scored by Ian Thompson, Kiernan Blouin and Bryson Johnson.
It was 4-0 at the conclusion of the first half, but assistant coach Jared Woodhouse stressed one thing at half time: “Do NOT let up this second half. They are going to come out fired up and ready to go.”
Despite efforts to keep their momentum, the Eagles only managed to score one additional goal the second half and gave up two.
“Tomorrow we cannot play how we just ended that game,” head coach Ammon Bennett told players after the game, “If we play like that, we are going to lose.”
Woodhouse anticipated that Saturday’s game would be a much closer battle than Friday’s. However, from the beginning of Saturday’s match, it was obvious who was going to dominate the game. USUE pounded the Spartan’s goal for the entire 90 minutes, scoring 10 goals to CNCC’s 1.
“[They] just did what we’ve been asking them to do,” Woodhouse said. “That was [our] best performance.”
Two days later, on Oct. 11, USUE welcomed SLCC for their third and final match in conference play. The Bruins sit in first place in the conference, but the Eagles have given them a run for their money in their past two games. Both previous matches went into double over-time and one ended in a tie, while the other ended in a one-point loss for the Eagles.
The match on Oct. 11, was as much of a stalemate as their previous games, but once again, SLCC was able to walk away with a 1-0 victory.
The Bruins scored off of a quick free kick, which took Eagle defense by surprise and left them with no chance of tracking back to defend their goal. From that point on, neither team had any success offensively.
After the Bruin endeavor, the Eagles battled CSN in a double header match-up on Oct. 13-14. In what Woodhouse would later describe as “an incredible display of heart,” the Eagles came out for their first game against the Coyotes with “fire” and “intensity,” beating CSN 3-1. Team captain Chandler Fietkau said he was proud of that win because the last time the two teams played, “[they] got [their] butts kicked 5-1.”
While he was excited over the victory, Woodhouse again warned his players that the team they were going to play tomorrow was not going to be the same team they played that day.
His prediction was spot on. By halftime, the Eagles had not been able to get a single shot off. CSN took advantage of their set pieces, knocking in a penalty kick and scoring again later on in the game. The final score was 2-0 for the Coyotes.
After a long stay on the home front, the Eagles travel to play Snow College Thursday, Oct. 20, then CNCC Oct. 22. These games will be their final conference games and determine their position going into the region tournament.