LARAMIE – Michaela Stark helped the University of Wyoming women’s soccer team get back on the winning track.
The senior from Broomfield, Colorado, scored two goals as the Cowgirls (2-1-2) bested Idaho State 4-1 on Sunday afternoon at the Louis S. Madrid Sports Complex in Laramie.
UWg’s first goal came early when Savannah Warner scored off a header courtesy of a corner kick in the sixth minute of the match.
Idaho State was playing deep and giving the Cowgirls a lot of space early on.
“We had so much space before we ever hit them and we may have struggled a little bit because we didn’t realize all of the time and space we had in the beginning,” Cowgirls coach Pete Cuadrado said. “Once we scored a couple of goals it opened the game up and we were a better team.”
Stark scored her first goal of the season and gave her squad a two-goal lead when she was able to get a high shot over the opposing goalkeeper in the 26th minute.
The Bengals cut their deficit in half when Jazmin Lopez managed to get her shot from the left side of the penalty area to bounce off the crossbar and in for their first goal in the 42nd minute.
“(Idaho State) presented some different opportunities and different challenges,” Cuadrado said. “They came out in a 4-3-3 and we were ready for that, but then switched to a 4-4-2 in the last 10 minutes, which caught us off guard a little bit.
“Our rotations were really slow picking up that 4-4-2, but we made adjustments at halftime to shut that down.”
The Cowgirls came out of the half strong and scored quick when freshman Amber Vokoun headed in a goal in the 48th minute.
It wasn’t long after when Stark found the back of the net for the second time of the match in the 57th minute to give the Cowgirls a 4-1 lead.
“We were all pretty frustrated with the first half, but we wanted to come out in the second half and make up for that,” Stark said.
The Cowgirls pressed and played aggressively for the remainder of the match as they didn’t let Idaho State get another opportunity to score. They were also more aggressive on the offensive end, taking 16 total shots to the Bengals’ 13. UW had 12 shots on goal to the Idaho State’s nine.
Goalkeeper Hannah Lee had three saves in the first half and Riley Furbush added five in the second half to combine for eight saves for the Cowgirls.
It was a solid bounce back win after the Cowgirls fell to Baylor on Friday afternoon.
“We really needed a win like that coming off of a loss,” Stark said. “It was a good win for us.”
UW will look to get its next win when Southern Utah University travels to Laramie on Friday afternoon.
“Any win is going to help us build confidence and after a win, it’s the best feeling in the world,” Stark said. “That feeling is addicting and you carry it on with you and you get hungry for it.”