Just based on experience, the outcome of this game was predictable.
Dixie State College of Utah is a perennial junior college women's soccer power and that experience showed Thursday when the Rebels posted a 6-0 Scenic West Athletic Conference triumph against first-year WNCC on a cool and windy afternoon at Edmonds Sports Complex.
Dixie State, junior college national champion in 2003 and fifth a year ago, scored three times in each half to snap a streak of three straight ties and improve to 3-0-3 overall for the season, 1-0 in conference. WNCC dropped to 2-2-1 overall and 0-2 in conference.
Despite the numbers, however, WNCC coach Hillary Arthur was pleased with the Wildcats' effort.
"They've been around for a while and we're a first-year program, so I knew this was going to be a tough game," said Arthur, who fielded a team comprised entirely of freshmen. "But I thought our kids played well. They played the way I wanted them to play. I don't think the score was indicative of the way we played.
"The kids were stepping up to the ball, challenging for 50-50 balls, and I thought they were definitely improved from last week," she added, referring to WNCC's conference loss at home against North Idaho last Saturday.
The Wildcats were also up against a stronger opponent. Dixie State has experience back from a team that finished fifth at the NJCAA national tournament and had a win over NCAA Division I foe Utah Valley State last year.
This is also Dixie State's final season at the juco level, since the St. George school is moving up to NCAA Division II next year.
On Thursday, the Wildcats had the further misfortune of running into a Dixie squad that scored only one goal and settled for ties in three successive games last week in Southern California, including a 0-0 deadlock with 2003 California juco state champion Long Beach City on Sept. 1.
"We've been building up to this," Rebels coach Linda Huddleston said. "We were frustrated about not being able to being able to score more and not being able to pass the way we wanted. I was happy with the way we created good shots today.
"We only started two sophomores today, so we're a real young team, but they're starting to play the style we want."
Jenny Nicholson gave the Rebels a 1-0 lead in the ninth minute when she scored off a free kick from Marli Martin.
WNCC's defense took a hit less than 10 minutes later when sweeper Dominique Gloude left the field after reaggravating her groin injury.
"We got 18 minutes out of Dominique, which was a big help to us," Arthur said. "I thought we came out real strong the first five minutes. But they scored that first goal and then we let down a little."
Defensively, WNCC's Hannah Lee and Melissa Goldfin stopped two breakaway opportunities, Jessica Maule thwarted two shots inside the box and goalkeeper Rachelle Goulet came out to smother the ball on another breakaway opportunity.
Dixie State cashed in on yet another breakaway in the 27th minute when Shantee Adams scored off a long downfield pass from Nicolette Trickey. Then in the 34th minute, Robin Romney arched a high flip throw-in from the left side that Heidi Bushman redirected into the net to make it 3-0.
The Rebels added three more goals in the second half: Kera Baugh in the 59th minute, Donielle Mucci in the 86th minute and Adams in the 90th minute.
"I thought Kera Baugh was the difference for us. She did a great job in the middle as far as creating opportunities," Huddleston said.
Injuries took a toll on the already short-handed Wildcats, who only had two substitutes available for the game. After Gloude went out early, Goulet left the game with a knee injury shortly before halftime. Chrissy Katzorke was also sidelined for the entire game with a nagging hamstring injury.
Goulet had five saves and Lisa Berryman finished the game with three saves.
Maule played well in the second half after moving from the midfield to sweeper and Kristan Hale helped provide some spark on offense, according to Arthur.
"Kristan has been playing better than I expected," Arthur said. "She did a good job running at their defense and causing turnovers."
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