MISSOULA, Mont. — A late goal stung the Portland State women’s soccer team again Friday, as Montana’s Allie Lucas headed in a corner in the 87th minute to beat the Vikings 1-0.
Lucas’ late goal handed the Vikings (5-12-0, 3-6-0 Big Sky) their fourth loss this season on a goal scored in the 80th minute or later. The Vikings also lost to Oregon, Utah Valley and Northern Arizona on goals scored past the 80th minute, and lost to Northern Colorado and Eastern Washington on goals scored in the final minute before halftime.
“We played some really good soccer, but we need to be able to maintain our concentration through the end of halves and that hasn’t been consistent this year,” PSU head coach Laura Schott said after the match. “Whether it’s youth or inexperience or injuries I’m not sure, but I know we are all committed to working hard and making it better and that makes me excited for next Friday [when the Vikings play against Sacramento State] and next year.”
The loss does not eliminate the Vikings from playoff contention, but it takes the Vikings’ fate out of their own hands. The Vikings will now have to hope the results fall their way over the rest of the season, starting Sunday when the Vikings will need Montana to beat Sacramento State. If the Grizzlies do that, then Portland State could catch the Hornets with a win over them next Friday, which would give the Vikings a chance at a Big Sky tournament spot providing neither Southern Utah nor Northern Arizona win more than one of their final three matches of the season.
In the meantime, the Vikings will look back on a near-miss Friday, as they held Montana scoreless deep into the match only to be undone by Lucas’ late goal.
Senior goalkeeper Angela Haluska made six saves in goal for the Vikings, the most saves she’s had in a match since making six saves in the Vikings’ 1-0 loss to Idaho on Oct. 2.
One of Haluska’s saves came on a penalty kick in the 18th minute, as she stopped an attempt from Montana’s Mackenzie Akins to keep the Vikings even with the Grizzlies at 0-0. The PK was the first Haluska has faced all season for the Vikings, and just the second PK she’s faced in her Portland State career.
The Viking offense, meanwhile, forced Montana goalkeeper Kailey Norman into making three saves on 11 total attempts Friday. Junior midfielder/forward Aurora Bodenhamer led the attack with a shot on goal in the first half and a header that went wide right as the Vikings were searching for a late equalizer in the 89th minute.
The Vikings will now hope to close out the regular season with three points against the Hornets, as the Vikings travel to Sacramento State next Friday at 3 p.m. (PT).
Match Notes: The Grizzlies’ win over the Vikings Friday gives them the series lead between the two teams, as the Vikings and Grizzlies had been tied at 10-10-2 all-time in the series going into the match…Montana also now leads the series 10-9-2 in Big Sky matches…Haluska’s six saves Friday give her 87 for the season, the most by a Viking goalkeeper in a single-season since Cris Lewis had 104 saves in 2009.