Red Storm Recap: Teams take their shows on the road

ST. GEORGE – The Dixie State football team had their home opener this past week, but all of the other Red Storm athletic teams were road warriors. The following is a recap of their action this past week:

Football

Joel Davis prepares to receive a pass from Griff Robles, Azusa Pacific at Dixie State, St. George, Utah, Sept. 14, 2013 | Photo by John Teas, St. George News
Joel Davis prepares to receive a pass from Griff Robles, Azusa Pacific at Dixie State, St. George, Utah, Sept. 14, 2013 | Photo by John Teas, St. George News

The Red Storm returned home to open up conference play against Azusa Pacific and their heralded running back Terrell Watson. In a weather-delayed game, the Cougars jumped out to a 36-7 lead before DSU backup quarterback Brody Garr led two drives in the final minutes for scores to end the game 36-20. Jake Duncan led the defense with a career-best 14 tackles. Despite outperforming APU in possession time and nearly matching APU in total yardage (391-380), the Red Storm were not able to capitalize on drives into Cougars territory. The Red Storm, 0-2 overall and 0-1 in conference play, hit the road this week to Monmouth, Ore., where they will face Western Oregon (0-2, 0-1), losers in their conference opener to Central Washington last week.

Volleyball
Coach Robyn Felder’s squad traveled to Las Vegas this past weekend for four matches in two days. They were able to gain a split on each day. Friday morning DSU beat New Mexico Highlands University 3-2 (25-19, 25-17, 15-25, 23-25, 15-7). The Red Storm lost the afternoon match to Western New Mexico University 3-1 (25-20, 16-25, 25-20, 25-23).

The Red Storm defeated NMHU despite committing 14 service errors. Nicole Koehler led with 10 kills and Shannon Young added nine. In the afternoon, after dropping the first set to the Mustangs, the Red Storm raced out to an 11-6 lead in the second set, only to watch the Lady Mustangs come back to eventually tie the set. A WNMU ace a few points later moved the Mustangs in front, 14-13. They would open a 15-13 lead on an attack error, but Dixie State came back with a 7-0 spurt to take a 20-15 lead. WNMU scored the next point, but Dixie State closed on a 5-0 run to take the set, 25-16 and even the match at one. DSU could not manage to maintain the run and dropped the third and fourth sets despite leading 20-17 in the fourth. WNMU won their fifth match in a row.

On Saturday, Dixie swept Western Colorado State University 3-0 (25-14, 25-13, 25-16) and lost to Colorado Mesa University in the afternoon match 3-1 (19-25, 25-15, 25-17, 25-14). In the opener, the Red Storm (3-3) cruised to a straight sets victory over WCS with Shannon Young continuing her solid play with 10 kills and Kendahl Weiland adding 10 kills of her own. The squad managed its highest hitting percentage of the season at .348.
In the tournament closer, the Red Storm jumped out on top of the Mavericks (7-1), cruising to a 25-19 victory. But Colorado Mesa rebounded to win the next three games. Young led the Storm with 11 kills and Maddie Rex and Weiland added nine each.

“Today we reverted to making the same mistakes we were last year,” said head coach Robyn Felder. “We started strong and just could not finish.” The Red Storm hit the road again next week for four Pacific West matches in the San Francisco Bay Area. They start on Friday in Oakland with Holy Names University at 8 p.m.

Men’s Soccer
On Saturday, the men’s soccer team played to a draw, 2-2, against Northwest Nazarene in Nampa, Ida. They then traveled to Fresno, Calif., where they lost their conference opener to Fresno Pacific University, 3-1. Against Northwest Nazarene, senior defender Alex Lawhun found the net twice while senior defender David Potocki shined in the center back position. But, in the end, all the Red Storm could earn was a 2-2 draw with the Crusaders of Northwest Nazarene.

“I thought we played very good today and puts tons of pressure on them,” head coach Danny Ortiz said. “We out shot them and finally found time to get a rhythm as a team.”

Lawhun matched goals to those from NNU’s Fredy Razo. Off an Erik Shallenberger corner and setup from Nadav Elimelech , Lawhun netted the ball in the 24th minutes to ensure a tie, 1-1, at half. NNU took back the lead on a penalty kick 56 second into the second half. Nearly 25 minutes later, Lawhun headed in the ultimate equalizer off a long set ball from Potocki past the keeper. Elimelech had the lone shot in the second overtime, but his shot sailed high to ensure the draw.

“When we moved Dave (Potocki) to center back, the team settled down because he was playing so solid,” Ortiz said. Overall, Dixie State out-shot the Crusaders 21-19, including a 14-9 margin on goal. Tyler Walters made seven saves for the Red Storm. Against FPU, Dixie State men’s soccer team suffered a 3-1 setback at Ramirez Field in the Pacific West Conference opener for both teams on Tuesday. Dixie State dropped to 0-2-1 on the season, 0-1-0 in the PacWest.

“They are a quality team with a lot of seniors,” Ortiz said. “I thought our effort was great and the score doesn’t indicate how well our guys played.”

The Sunbirds (2-1-1, 1-0 PacWest) went up 2-0 with a pair of goals in the first half. FPU notched a 24th minute goal for a 1-0 lead. Then, 14 seconds shy of halftime, FPU scored off a penalty kick.
“We gave up that silly goal late in the first half,” Ortiz said. “I thought we outplayed them for most of the match.”

In Thursday’s Pacific West Conference soccer match, Notre Dame de Namur forward Jonathan Gonzalez felt the Koret Field magic netting a goal in each half to lead the host Argos to a 2-0 win over Dixie State. Gonzales gave the Argos a 1-0 lead in the ninth minute on a one-timer set up by a pair of entry passes. He later iced the game in the 89th minute cashing in a breakaway goal.

Shallenberger led all Dixie State (0-3-1, 0-2-0 PacWest) players with four shots, including a shot on goal. Dixie State ends a trip to the Bay Area with a 1:30 pm. match on Saturday with Dominican.

Women’s Soccer
After dropping two games last week to the Seattle Pacific Falcons, 3-0, and to the nationally-ranked Western Washington Vikings, 3-0, the women’s soccer team opened conference play with their first victory of the season against Fresno Pacific, 2-0. Then, Tuesday night the Dixie State women’s soccer team out-shot Notre Dame de Namur nine to five in the opening half, but saw the host Argos pepper 17 attempts in the second half. Three NDNU shot found the back of the net helping the home team secure a 3-0 win in Pacific West Conference play.

In Thursday’s game, Seattle Pacific struck first in the 38th minute to take a 1-0 lead. The Falcons got the goal with a shot just under the crossbar from nearly 30 yards out straight away. “We came out and struggled to meet SPU for pace in the first half,” head coach Kacey Bingham said. “Second half we came out much stronger and held them to minimal shots.”

The Red Storm’s first serious chance came early in the second half, when junior Kimberly Thurman put a shot on goal that was cut short by the SPU keeper. The Falcons then made it 2-0 in the 70th minute with a cross ball to the right side of the box. SPU snuck a shot by DSU goalie Stacie Gubler inside the right post. SPU capped the scoring with a diving header from the left post in the 82nd minute – giving Seattle Pacific a 3-0 lead. Megan Marchbanks had a pair of one-on-one chances for the Red Storm late, but a shot with 12 seconds remaining in the match was snared by the SPU goalie to ensure the shutout. Overall, Seattle Pacific outshot the Red Storm, 19-4. Gubler made five saves for DSU.

In Saturday’s game at Bellingham, Wash., the Red Storm were out-shot 23-8 by the No. 7-ranked Vikings and only managed one shot on goal per half. “Unfortunately, we didn’t come to compete today,” said Bingham. “We underperformed against a team I think we could have competed with.”

The Red Storm were finally able to get on the winning track in Tuesday’s game in Fresno, California. Thurman and Jennifer Mason scored their first goals of the season for the Red Storm to win their first match of the year.

“We are excited for our first win of the season,” Bingham said. “We still need to come out a little stronger, but we had a solid second half performance.”

With Thursday’s loss to NDNU, Dixie State dropped to 1-3-1 on the year and 1-1-0 in the PacWest, while the Argonauts evened their season record and tallied a win in their conference opener (3-3-0, 1-0-0 PacWest). Dixie State concludes its longest road trip of the year on Saturday at 10 a.m. with a match at Dominican.

Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

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