After long rest, Wildcats ready for Big Sky soccer tourney

Nov 1 2012 - 7:03pm

Images

(NICHOLAS DRANEY/Standard-Examiner)
Weber State’s Ari Aki (6) competes for the ball against North Dakota’s Taryn MacMillan (11) in Ogden earlier this season. WSU plays Idaho State in the semifinals of the Big Sky tournament in Pocatello, Idaho, today.
(NICHOLAS DRANEY/Standard-Examiner)
Weber State’s Ari Aki (6) competes for the ball against North Dakota’s Taryn MacMillan (11) in Ogden earlier this season. WSU plays Idaho State in the semifinals of the Big Sky tournament in Pocatello, Idaho, today.

POCATELLO, Idaho -- The postseason is here for the Weber State women's soccer team.

After waiting nearly two weeks since qualifying for the Big Sky Conference championship tournament, the Wildcats are set to take on rival Idaho State during Friday's 3 p.m. semifinal round matchup at Davis Field.

It's the second matchup of the season between the Wildcats and Bengals, with Weber State having defeated Idaho State 1-0 on Oct. 6 at Wildcat Soccer Field in Ogden.

"When you get to this point of the season, it comes down to the team that is the most consistent team for 90 minutes that day," Weber State coach Tim Crompton said. "There are four good teams here in this tournament, and any one of them is capable of winning it.

"We've had a good two weeks of practice and our players are excited to be here and have a chance to compete for the championship. Our goal as a team is to come out on Friday and work hard and give ourselves a chance to win the match."

Friday's contest will be the 18th all-time meeting between the two, with WSU holding a 10-6-1 series advantage. Weber State has won three straight in the series, dating back to the 2010 season.

But in postseason, Idaho State is 2-0-0 against the Wildcats. They met in the 2001 Big Sky championship match and the 2006 semifinal round, with Idaho State winning each contest 1-0.

Weber State comes into the tournament with a 4-1-1 mark over its last six matches.

No. 2 Portland State and third-seeded Montana will meet in the first semifinal at 11:30 a.m., with the winners of the two semifinals matches set to meet on Sunday at 1 p.m. to decide the Big Sky title.

Idaho State has won four straight, having not lost since that 1-0 decision at Weber State, earning part of a three-way share of the Big Sky's regular season title and the right to host the tourney.

Weber State currently starts eight freshmen, two sophomores and a junior, making the Wildcats one of the youngest teams in league history to advance to the postseason.

Weber State's top two point earners are both freshman. Midfielder Chansi Crompton has scored four goals and dished off six assists -- a new record for most assists by a freshman at Weber State -- for 14 points overall. Forward Mackenzie Harrison has four goals and an assist for nine total points.

Crompton was named Big Sky newcomer of the year on Tuesday. She was also named to the All-Big Sky first team, as was freshman defender Brecken Holbrook.

Holbrook started in all 18 matches and played a team-high 1,540 minutes this season, helping anchor a defense that allowed just 20 goals in all matches and just five during nine conference matches.

The Wildcats posted a goals-against average of 1.10 during the season, and lowered that to 0.540 during the nine-match conference season.

Junior goalkeeper Ryann Waldman was one of six Wildcats named All-Big Sky honorable mention after

Started and played in 17 of the Wildcats' 18 matches. She posted a 1.02 goals-against average, allowing just 17 goals during the season.

Waldman allowed just five goals during Big Sky play, which tied for fewest goals allowed during the conference season. She recorded 79 total saves overall and 45 saves during conference.

Weber State is making its second consecutive appearance in the Big Sky tournament and 11th appearance overall. WSU State is 9-7-2 in Big Sky tournament play, making seven appearances in the tournament final and winning three times (1998, 2004, 2005).

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