Dixie State’s women’s soccer team posted its record 10th shutout win of the season and clinched an RMAC postseason tournament berth with a 3-0 result over Colorado Mesa on Senior Night on Thursday at Trailblazer Stadium.
The Trailblazers (11-5-0, 7-5-0 RMAC) took control of the match from the opening touch on both the offensive and defensive ends. DSU’s defense held CMU without a shot attempt over the first 45 minutes of play, while the Blazer offense peppered the Mavericks (6-6-4, 4-5-3 RMAC) with 10 total shots, six on goal, but neither chance could find paydirt thanks to several impressive saves by CMU netminder Emily Signorio.
However, Dixie State would solve Signorio in the second half, and did so quickly, as the Trailblazers struck for all three of its goals in the first 12-plus minutes of the stanza. Reigning RMAC offensive player of the week Whitley Johns got DSU on the board 56 seconds into the half when she finished a through ball played into the right side of the CMU penalty box by sophomore Ambree Bennett. Johns’ goal, her team-leading 12th of the season, also marked the fourth-straight match the freshman had found the back of the net.
DSU would strike just more than three minutes later as sophomore Kelsey Cook played a ball forward to freshman Lauren Buxton, who tucked home her first collegiate goal past Signorio to spot her side a two-goal advantage. Cook then picked up her second assist on the night early in the 56th minute when she rocketed a corner kick to senior Taylor Claiborne, who headed home the chance from point-blank range for her first goal of the season.
The offensive outburst was more than enough for the Blazer defense, which surrendered only three second-half Maverick shots, while junior keeper Nicole Rahman stopped both CMU chances on goal to post her eighth win and fifth solo shutout of the season in goal.
“Tonight was one of our best performances of the year. I was really happy with the pressure we exerted on the opposition and the amount of chances we created,” said DSU head coach Gerry Lucey. “The first half was a little frustrating with the lack of finishing, but we hit the ground running in the second half. We still need a great performance again on Saturday against Western Colorado, which is still in the hunt for a playoff spot. Hopefully we can hit the same levels once more in the regular season.”
Dixie State will close out the 2018 regular season Saturday vs. Western Colorado at nearby Dixie High School beginning at noon.