Oct. 28, 2011
FRESNO, Calif. - With Western Athletic Conference seeding at stake and only two matches left before the post season tournament, Fresno State needed to sweep through its last road trip of the regular season starting with Nevada in Reno Friday night. The Bulldogs rebounded from a Nevada goal to earn the 2-1 win and improve to 10-4-4 on the season, 4-1-1 in WAC play.
"We definitely played a good game and played a lot more relaxed and moved the ball around which was a pretty good key concept today," said Head Coach Brian Zwaschka.
The teams went into the break scoreless, even on shots at three a piece.
Nevada quickly countered after a Fresno State corner kick 10 minutes into the second half. Ellie Stott headed in a throw in from Danielle Green to give the Wolf Pack the 1-0 lead in the 55th minute.
"The team responded really well," added Zwaschka. "We didn't really get rattled from the goal. I'm just really happy with how the team played. In particular, responding to going a goal down away from home. That's a tough situation, and everyone handled it with tremendous poise. But the response was the best part."
Sophomore Morgan Castain answered in the 68th minute, taking a free ball pass in the box from senior Laura Dodd to the back of the net, tying the match at one-all. The goal marked Castain's sixth of the year and Dodd's fourth assist.
Four minutes later, Dodd intercepted a pass back to the goalkeeper and scored the go ahead goal herself, her third of the year. It was also the first time this season since Texas A&M (Aug. 19) that Dodd recorded both a goal and an assist in a single match, tying a career-high in points.
"Laura had a very good game," said Zwaschka. "She was really instrumental in connecting passes and building the attack. Her ability to anticipate play is what gets her into so many good positions for the team and today was the best example of that coming to fruition when she surprised the Nevada defense by sneaking in behind them and just having an opportunity to put the ball away and just finish with style."
With time expiring in the match, freshman Katie DeVault picked up a huge save, securing the win.
Fresno State has only one more match left in the regular season. They will face conference leader Utah State on Sunday, Oct. 30 at 11 a.m. PST. A win in Logan would tie a single-season program record for road wins (6) set back in 1999.
"The bottom line is that we know Utah State is a very good team," said Zwaschka. "They are going to be playing on their field, on their senior day. We just need to approach it the way we approach every game, playing relaxed and with the confidence that anybody, anytime, anywhere and we're going there to win."
The Bulldogs are 6-2-2 all-time against Utah State. Zwaschka has a 2-1 record against the Aggies. The last time the programs met was in the semifinals of the WAC Tournament on Nov. 5, 2010. Fresno State shutout the Aggies (1-0) to advance to the championship match.
"We Are Your Team!" Fresno State is hosting the 2011 Western Athletic Conference Tournament Nov. 3-4, & 6 on its new Soccer and Lacrosse Field. Be there to witness the Bulldogs defend their WAC title at home. Ticket information and more are available at WACSports.com. You can stay connected with Fresno State Athletics on Facebook (fresnostateathletics) and Twitter (@FSAthletics).
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