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Losing curse can’t be broken at home

It turned out to be another long weekend for the Portland State soccer team, which added two more losses to its record. The Vikings dropped to 0-3-0 in conference play, and 0-13-2 overall.

On Friday night, the Vikings faced a comparable Weber State (3-0-0, 6-7-1), losing 2-1. Then on Sunday, Idaho State (3-0-1, 8-4-2) handed Portland State a shutout with a final score of 2-0.

“Weber just really capitalized on their opportunities,” junior captain Rebecca Blum said.

On Friday night, the story wasn’t the margin on corner kicks or shots taken, but which team was able to capitalize when presented with a chance. Weber State was able to score twice, each in the first half of play. Natalie Hensley, the Big Sky Conference’s leading scorer, was able to put in one of the two goals. Teammate Lisa Pratt helped out by scoring the only other Weber goal of the first half and game. As the Weber coaching staff cleared most of its bench late in the second half, Viking freshman forward Jamie Giger was able to score her second goal of the season, making things interesting with 11 minutes remaining.

“Jamie has really stepped up and given us a great spark,” Blum said.

In anticipation of a second goal to tie things up, Weber clamped down their defense to prevent any other opportunity for a late score.

Shots taken for the game were dead even at 12 apiece, while corner kicks favored Weber State, 3-0. Weber State added to its winning streak with three in a row, including a win over powerhouse Montana.

On Sunday, an Idaho State squad, also unbeaten in conference games, came to the Tigard Complex looking for its third win in league play. Once again both goals came in the first half, and were the only two goals scored for the game.

“They scored off a penalty kick on a foul that could have easily been let go. It may have swayed the momentum for the game,” Blum said.

The first goal came off a penalty kick early in the first half, from Brook Alton. Not long after, Idaho’s Ashley Steel was able to gather a loose ball deflected by Viking goalkeeper Gretchen Pietras to score the second goal of the game after a furious dash in the box. The ball was not kicked into the net, but was ruled by the referee to have crossed over the line in the goal. The Idaho State Bengals never looked back, and let their defense do the rest of the work for the shutout. The margin on shots taken and corner kicks registered were close, with corner kicks at four apiece, and shots on goal 17-15 in favor of PSU.

“We’re definitely taking steps in the right direction, we just weren’t able to finish on opportunities we needed,” Blum said.

The Vikings will take on Montana next, in Missoula, Mont. on Friday night. Montana was voted the preseason favorite, but carries a disillusioning record of 1-2-0, 5-7-0.