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Fresno State sophomore forward Julia Glaser attempts a shot against Utah State on Sept. 24, 2017. The Bulldogs lost the game 1-0. (Megan Trindad/The Collegian)

Misfiring ‘Dogs drop conference matchups

The Fresno State women’s soccer team opened its Mountain West schedule in back-to-back fashion at home against Boise State and Utah State but was unable to pick up a victory, losing 2-1 and 1-0.

“We’re in a hole in terms of collecting points,” head coach Brian Zwaschka said. “It’s still early in Mountain West play, and we’re playing good soccer. I’m giving my team credit where it’s due, but we are realistic, and we know we have to turn it into results.”

The ‘Dogs put up a tough fight in both matches but weren’t able to find the back of the net consistently.

On Friday night, the ‘Dogs outshot the Broncos 14-13 but were able to convert only one of those chances.

Senior defender and midfielder Anna Crawford recorded her first goal for the ‘Dogs, with an assist by senior forward Myra Delgadillo.

The Broncos then scored a penalty goal in the first half followed by a late winner in the 78th minute.

The ‘Dogs went down 2-1, dropping their first game in the conference. And looking to rebound from the loss, the ‘Dogs took the field Sunday afternoon against Utah State. They fought until the end but were outlasted by the Aggies, 1-0.

“We feel like we stuck to the game plan,” Zwaschka said. “We did everything we were hoping to do in terms of execution except for the final ball. It just wouldn’t go in for us. Credit to their goalkeeper. She had a great game, and we had a couple off the woodwork so there you have it. It was a cruel game today.”

The second game of a back-to-back weekend for the ‘Dogs started in their favor.   

The team attacked early and often, almost leading to a goal. In total, the ‘Dogs registered 15 shots but couldn’t convert a single one.

“It’s really frustrating because the first 15 to 20 minutes we were dominating in our attacking third,” sophomore Tori Nicolo said. “It’s clear on the scoreboard we had more opportunities and if you don’t put those opportunities away it haunts us. It’s a hard game to play but once we get those opportunities finished, we are going to start seeing better results.”

Delgadillo threatened early with a perfectly weighted pass that went unmet as it rolled across the six-yard box in the fourth minute.

Shortly after the ‘Dogs threatened the Aggies, the visiting team responded with a combination play down the field.

The attacking movement resulted in a goal for Bailey Hammond in the eighth minute.

The momentum switched to the Aggies, and they rode that wave to the end of the half. The visitors had more intent with the ball, however just coming up short on multiple occasions.

Although the ‘Dogs had many chances in the second half, they were unable to find the back of the net.

Senior forward Kaitlyn Crooker had the best chance of the second half after she latched onto a ball in the penalty area. Crooker was one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but she was unable to get her shot over the Aggie stopper.

Controversy surrounded the last kick of the game after what seemed to be a Bulldog goal.

The ball bounced over the Aggie goalkeeper into the net, but the sideline ref called offside on the ‘Dogs.

To the disappointment of the home crowd, the point didn’t stand, ultimately costing the ‘Dogs a draw.

“I was right in front,” Nicolo said. “I could see the sun was in the keeper’s eyes. She was not clear where the ball was. It went straight through her hands.”

The ‘Dogs head to Wyoming (5-4-1) next Friday for another conference showdown.