POCATELLO, Idaho —The Wildcats put on a spirited, hard-fought effort on Friday afternoon, but ultimately came up a few inches short of their goal.
The Weber State University soccer team fell in a nail-biting shootout to rival Idaho State in the semifinal round of the Big Sky Conference tournament at Davis Field.
The match officially ended as a 1-1 draw, with Idaho State advancing 4-3 in penalty kicks.
"Our goal coming into today was the same as it was every match that we play; we wanted to give ourselves a chance to win the game, and I thought we did that today," Weber State coach Tim Crompton said. "We created some very good chances for ourselves, but we didn’t put another one away."
Weber State outshot Idaho State 12-10 and commanded possession in the match, but couldn’t find the second goal it needed to beat Idaho State goalkeeper Sheridan Hapsic.
The Wildcats outshot the Bengals 6-4 during the opening half and earned seven corner kicks, but went into the break level at 0-0.
Weber State surged into the lead in the 57th minute when freshman midfielder Chansi Crompton, the Big Sky’s Newcomer of the Year, punched in her fifth goal of the year to put the Wildcats ahead 1-0. Freshman forward Mackenzie Harrison had the assist on the play, her second of the season.
Weber State continued to control the tempo and the play after scoring the goal and nearly broke through several times for what would have been a knockout blow, but Hapsic and the Idaho State defense battled to keep themselves in the match.
With the Wildcats controlling the ball and the clock running down, the Bengals countered against the run of play and found the equalizer after Weber State was unable to clear the ball out and Amanda Ellsworth knocked it home from eight yards out in the 88th minute.
After neither team could produce the match-winner in 20 minutes of overtime, it headed for penalty kicks to decide who would advance.
Idaho State converted its first three, while Weber State scored its first, third and fourth to leave things even at 3-3. The Bengals’ Rachel Strawn, a former Roy High standout, scored to make it 4-3, and the Hapsic blocked the Wildcats final attempt.
Weber State wraps up its 2012 season at 7-10-2 overall, with the Wildcats set to return all 11 starters for 2013.
WSU will bid farewell to only one senior, forward Ari Aki, to graduation.
"I’d really like to thank our fans for their support," Crompton said. "We had a great crowd come up here today, and they were very supportive. It’s unfortunately a tough way to lose a match, but I’m pleased with our effort, not just today, but all season long."
Idaho State, which boasts 11 Utah players on its roster, advances to face Montana at 1 p.m. on Sunday for the Big Sky title and NCAA berth.