CHEYENNE – The No. 7-ranked Laramie County Community College women’s soccer team couldn’t convert its scoring chances during the first half of Saturday morning’s matchup with Utah State-Eastern.
It got a little help on its first goal of the match before sophomore Ainsley Basich put exclamation point on a 2-0 win.
“We had good chances in the first half, and there were a couple times (USUE) made us pay for a couple mistakes,” second-year Golden Eagles coach Nate Ulness said. “Once we settled down, got the ball deeper and played how we wanted to play, it was a lot better and our attack became a lot more dangerous and we were able to punch those two in.
“We were more aggressive, ran through plays instead of stopping early and we were more creative instead of just running straight.”
The teams were fairly evenly matched during the first half, but LCCC (2-0) enjoyed the better scoring chances. In the 48, USUE had a ball deflect off a defender and go into the net for an own goal.
Basich – a Cheyenne Central graduate – added to the lead by scoring her second goal of the young season in the 59th minute. Freshman midfielder Emily Reddish took a throw-in from sophomore defender Erin Griess on the right sideline, carried the ball into the penalty area and passed the ball back to Basich. Basich ran onto the ball and struck a shot that curled left just out of reach of USUE goalkeeper Macy Clements.
“We have been working on our outside wings taking the ball all the way to the line and looking for the cross back in the money spot at the (penalty kick) area,” Basich said. “I was trying to focus on keeping my head over the ball and placing it where the keeper wasn’t.
“Those are solid fundamentals, but we have needed to work on that as a team because we’ve kicked it right to the keeper a lot.”
LCCC enjoyed a 21-6 advantage in shots, including a 16-4 edge in shots on goal. Freshman keeper London Ewing turned away every shot she faced. Ewing facing so few shots is a credit to the defense played by Griess and sophomores Delaney Knottnerus, Sam Murray and Jaslyn Tapia.
“We want our goalkeepers to be bored back there,” Ulness said. “Our defenders – plus Charlotte (O’Shea) and Paige (Hill) as our holding mids – did a great job. It’s fun to see.
“We’re always going to preach a defensive mindset first and not let teams behind us while getting behind them.”
The Eagles have a pair of exhibition matches before returning to regular season play by hosting Northeast Community College at 1 p.m. Saturday.
LCCC 2, USU-EASTERN 0
Goals: LCCC, own goal, 48. LCCC, Basich (Reddish), 59.
Shots: USUE 6, LCCC 21. Shots on goal: USUE 4, LCCC 16. Saves: USUE 14 (Clements); LCCC 4 (Ewing).
Corner kicks: USUE 2, LCCC 9. Offsides: USUE 1, LCCC 7. Fouls: USUE 3, LCCC 5.