NAMPA, Ida. – PacWest preseason Player of the Year Darian Murdock got the hat trick in the first game of the season as Dixie State beat Western State-Colorado 3-0 at Northwest Nazarene University’s soccer field Thursday.
It took only three minutes to score her first goal, off an assist by Tana Singley. Singley drove the ball down the left side and sent a cross to Murdock. Murdock’s first shot caromed off the cross bar, but came back to her. She put the rebound into the net.
Throughout the first half, the DSU attack kept the ball in Western’s end. Jill Bennett got an early breakaway, but her shot from 15 feet went wide left.
“Bennett is a freshman,” Dixie head coach Kacey Bingham said. “But she is strong and very quick. She played well today.”
In the 30th minute, Bennett got ahead of her defender on the left side. Her shot from 10 feet was blocked by goalie Emilie Eckhart, but the carom came right to Murdock three feet from the net for her second goal of the game.
Murdock got her third goal in the 85th minute. Alexa Estridge threw the ball into Bennett, who headed the ball over to Murdock. She quickly put the ball into the net.
“I thought we played very well in the first half,” Bingham said. “We controlled the ball. We kept it on their side of the field. In the second half, we came out flat. We need to work on coming out with more momentum.”
Overall, Dixie State had 14 shots, with 10 of those on goal. Western, conversely, had only four shots with two on goal, both saved by DSU goalie Felicity Tarr.
“Felicity wasn’t really tested today,” Bingham said. “But she did a great job coordinating our defense. Kilee Lamb was instrumental as our defensive midfielder today.”
On Saturday, the Trailblazers (1-0) will play the host school, Northwest Nazarene, at 2 p.m..
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