Trailblazer Campus Rundown: Women’s soccer vying for championship and postseason

ST. GEORGE – This past week saw disappointment on the gridiron and also a loss by the men’s soccer team that may keep DSU from repeating as PacWest champions and postseason play. The women’s soccer team has rebounded from two earlier conference losses to win five in a row and remain in contention for the PacWest title. The volleyball team is in the upper half of the PacWest in a rebuilding year for coach Robyn Felder. Below are summaries of this past week’s action:

FOOTBALL

The Dixie State football team dropped a 19-17 decision to Colorado Mines on Saturday at Marv Kay Stadium in Golden, Colo.

Trailblazer head coach Shay McClure, file photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

After the Orediggers converted a 38-yard field to build a 10-3 lead early in the third quarter, the Trailblazers rallied to take a 17-16 lead with 14:47 to play in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Blake Barney entered the game after the CSM field goal and engineered both DSU touchdown drives.

On the go-ahead score, Barney faked a fly-sweep toss, then fired a 38-yard strike to receiver Brad Duran for his first touchdown of the season. Kicker A.J. Yergensen converted the point-after attempt, and the Trailblazers took a 17-16 lead 13 seconds into the fourth quarter.

The Orediggers converted a 32-yard field goal to retake the lead at 19-17 with 11:19 remaining in the game.

The Blazers quickly took their possession into the red zone on their next drive. On first-and-goal from the 10-yard line, Barney took the snap, saw that his receivers were covered, and sprinted for the end zone. He fought off a tackle at the 5-yard line, took another step, and dove for the goal line. But a CSM defender hit Barney in the air, knocking the ball loose. The Orediggers recovered the bouncing ball at the 10-yard line, ending the DSU drive with 8:26 remaining.

Dixie State was unable to regain possession and the Orediggers drained the remaining time on the clock.

The Trailblazers finished with a season-low 286 yards of total offense, and were held under 100 yards (71) yards rushing for the second consecutive game. Barney completed 10 of 11 passes for 134 yards and one touchdown, while quarterback Malik Watson completed 8 of 17 passes for 77 yards.

Wallace finished with a team-high 11 catches for 120 yards, while Duran finished with four catches for 64 yards and a touchdown. Yergensen converted a career-long 36-yard field goal in the second quarter.

Defensively, the Trailblazers conceded 430 yards of total offense (262 rush/168 pass). Linebacker Noe Perez recorded a career-high 15 tackles, while safety Mike Jones turned in his second-straight double-digit tackle performance with 13 tackles. Defensive lineman Remington Kelly added eight tackles and one sack.

The Trailblazers drop to 3-4 in the RMAC and 3-5 overall. Dixie State returns to Legend Solar Stadium next Saturday, hosting Adams State on Homecoming. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.

Volleyball

Dixie State came up on the short end of a hard-fought five-set thriller (26-28, 25-11, 23-25, 25-17, 15-17) against Point Loma Saturday afternoon in the DSU Student Activities Center.

Dixie State’s Sid Brandon (7), Dixie State University vs. Dominican University of California, Volleyball, St. George, UT, Sept. 30, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

The Trailblazers lost despite outhitting the Sea Lions by a .149-.065 count, while the DSU defense broke a single-match record with 34 block assists and finished with the third-highest number of total blocks in a match (17.0) in the program’s NCAA era. Middle blocker Lauren Gammell tied a DSU single-match record with 10 block assists, while middle blocker Kayla Chapman collected seven block assist to go with a team-high 13 kills and five digs.

Outside hitter Hannah Doonan posted her fifth double-double of the year with 11 kills and 18 digs, while outside hitter Kaycee Adams chipped in 10 kills and five digs. In addition, setter Jordyn Nelson notched her team-best sixth double-double of the year with 26 assists and 10 digs, and setter Kara Moore added 16 assists and 11 digs for her second double-double of the season.

The Trailblazers drop to 6-5 in the PacWest and 8-11 overall. Dixie State continues its homestand with two matches next week as part of DSU Homecoming Week festivities. The Trailblazers host Fresno Pacific on Thursday, Oct. 26, and PacWest newcomer Biola on Saturday, Oct. 28. Both matches will begin at 6 p.m.

Men’s Soccer

Despite the second hat trick of the season from forward Moises Medina, Dixie State could not hold on a late second half lead as the Trailblazers fell in overtime to Point Loma, 5-4, Saturday night at Legend Solar Stadium.

The Sea Lions struck first just 3:43 into the match. Dixie State came back with three unanswered goals, including two off the boot of Medina, to bolt to a 3-1 lead through 53 minutes of play. Medina got the Trailblazers on the board early in the 29th-minute when he finished a through ball played in by midfielder Enrique Bucio to square the match at 1-1.

Dixie State’s Dominic Damato (8) and Blake Damato (7), file photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

DSU then struck for two goal over the first eight minutes of the second half, the first coming on a Christian Hall give-and-go combination with defender Dominic Damato, which Hall netted for his first goal of the year from 15-yards out late in the 47th minute. Damato then collected his second assist of the match nearly six minutes later when his penalty kick chance caromed off the PLNU keeper to Medina, who hammered home the rebound to give Dixie State a two-goal advantage.

Point Loma would rally with three goals over a span of 14-plus minutes to erase the deficit and reclaim the lead at 4-3 late in regulation play.

In the final minute of regulation, the Trailblazers were gifted another penalty kick chance when a Sea Lion defender was called for a hand ball inside the penalty area. Medina then stepped up with nine seconds on the clock and powered home the PK to tie the match at 4-4 to force overtime.

Medina just missed his fourth goal of the match early in the fifth minute of the first OT session when Hall centered a cross from the right wing, but Medina’s header attempted bounded just wide of the frame. That would be the only shot the Trailblazers would attempt in the extra session as PLNU got the game winner inside the left post with 2:55 on the clock.

DSU finished with 17 shots, seven on goal, with Medina accounting for eight total shots – three on frame.

The Trailblazers drop to 6-3 in the PacWest and 10-3 overall. Dixie State closes out its 2017 regular season road slate with three matches in California, starting with a make-up of a postponed match vs. Holy Names that will be played in Fresno on Tuesday, Oct. 24. The Trailblazers will also play at Fresno Pacific on Thursday, Oct. 26, before wrapping up the road trip at Concordia-Irvine on Saturday, Oct. 28.

Women’s Soccer

Forward Darian Murdock became Dixie State’s all-time single season leader in goals scored as she netted one and assisted on another to help lead the Trailblazers to a 3-1 result over Point Loma Saturday afternoon at Legend Solar Stadium. The win extended DSU’s single-long winning streak to five matches as the Trailblazers improved to 11-3-0 overall, 7-2-0 in Pacific West Conference play.

Dixie State’s Darian [McCloy] Murdock (13), file photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Dixie State scored all three goals in the first half, the first coming off the boot of defender Montana Tanner, who went top shelf inside the far post on a 40-yard blast late in the 13th-minute to give her side a quick 1-0 lead.

Then in the 26th-minute, the Trailblazers drew a foul inside the PLNU (6-6-1/5-4-0 PacWest) penalty area to earn a penalty kick chance. Murdock, who has now scored a goal in five-straight matches, tucked the PK home for her record-setting 17th goal of the season. The goal also padded Murdock’s single-season (7) and career (15) records for game-winning goals.

The Trailblazers would strike again just over four minutes later when forward Tori Page netted her sixth-goal of the season on a two-touch ball played in from Murdock and forward Brooklyn Vogelsberg.

Meanwhile, the DSU defense held the Sea Lions at bay, limiting PLNU to just four first-half shots, an attempt that was turned away on a highlight reel diving stop by keeper Felicity Tarr. Point Loma got on the scoreboard with 5:13 left.

DSU outshot PLNU by a 17-11 count, though the Sea Lions attempted one more shot on goal (7-6). Tarr finished with six saves to earn her 10th win of the season, which moved her into a tie for second place on DSU’s single-season wins list (Suzy Hunt, 2007).

Dixie State closes out its 2017 regular season road slate with three matches in California, starting with a make-up of a postponed match vs. Holy Names that will be played in Fresno on Tuesday, Oct. 24. The Trailblazers will also play at Fresno Pacific on Thursday, Oct. 26, before wrapping up the road trip at Concordia-Irvine on Saturday, Oct. 28.

Email: sports@stgnews.com

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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