DSU men’s soccer continues to roll; Women’s soccer drops close one

File photo of Dixie State's Gabby Medina (96), Dixie State University vs. Dominican University, Men's Soccer, St. George, Utah, Oct. 29, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – The Dixie State men’s soccer team just keeps on winning. After dropping their first three games of the season on the road, the Trailblazers have come back to win 12 straight, including Saturday evening’s 1-0 shutout against visiting Dominican University in a match played at Dixie High School.

blazerDIt was DSU’s fourth shutout this year. The Blazers have a total of eight shutout wins on the season.

“Obviously we want to score more goals,” said Dixie State head coach Nyle Ortiz. “But it is nice knowing that when we do get one up on the board, we have Bradley Trella behind us in goal.”

Trella, who missed four games while recuperating from a concussion, played in goal for the second straight game at home. He had three saves, none more important than the penalty kick taken by Dominican’s Arturo Carillo.

Dixie State's Bradley Trella (1) makes a save, Dixie State University vs. Dominican University, Mens Soccer, St. George, Utah, Oct. 29, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Dixie State’s Bradley Trella (1) makes a save, Dixie State University vs. Dominican University, Mens Soccer, St. George, Utah, Oct. 29, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

At the 58:49 mark, Dixie State got a foul in the box. “I got a read on him,” said Trella. “He lined up squarely behind the ball and I felt that he would kick it off the inside of his foot. I juked right then dove to my left hoping that was where it was coming.”

“That is a big play,” said Ortiz. “If they get that, it becomes a whole different match.”

Dixie scored its goal early in the first. Dominic Damato got his first goal of the season when Gabby Medina and Moises Medina had a two-touch combo assist across the penalty box. Damato tucked the ball in the left side from three yards out.

Though it was the only goal scored, the Trailblazers had 17 total shots and seven shots on goal. Dominican only managed seven total shots, with three on goal.

The Blazers move to 12-3 and stay undefeated atop the PacWest with a 10-0 record. Dixie State was picked to finish seventh this year after playing for the conference championship in their final game last season against Fresno Pacific. They hold a two-game lead over Concordia in the loss column. With three games left in the season, the Blazers will play Notre Dame de Namur (tied for third), Concordia (second), and Cal Baptist (also tied for third), all sitting right behind Dixie State.

“No question the most difficult part of our season will be the last three games,” said Ortiz. “When you are on top, teams bring their best games against you. Teams tend to relax at home. I told our guys we have to work harder than the teams we are playing in the final stretch.”

The Blazers will face Notre Dame de Namur on Monday at 1 p.m.

Women’s Soccer
Dominican 1, Dixie State 0

The Trailblazers had a good opportunity to position themselves to the top of the conference with a win over Dominican, but the Penguins had different plans. The visitors scored a goal early in the second half at the end of the 51st minute. Mariah Meza took the pass from Stephanie Pawek and got it to the back of the net.

Dixie State's Bailey Kroll (25), Dixie State University vs. Dominican University, Womens Soccer, St. George, Utah, Oct. 29, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Dixie State’s Bailey Kroll (25), Dixie State University vs. Dominican University, Womens Soccer, St. George, Utah, Oct. 29, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

The Dixie State offense was in full bore all night, but did not get the ultimate result. The Trailblazers outshot Dominican 21-8, including a 13-6 advantage of shots on goal. DSU took nine corner kicks while the Penguins had just one. Individually for Dixie State, Darian McCloy (4), Megan Spencer (3) and Kilee Lamb (2) all got multiple shots on goal.

“Our execution was good, but our shot placement was not,” said Dixie State head coach Kacey Bingham. “Dominican got one of theirs into the net. We did not. If we want to get to the next level, we need to do more than outshoot our opponents. We need to finish.”

Late in the match, Dixie State goalie Angela Ciucci got entangled with Dominican midfielder Michelle Li. Shoving ensued and both players were issued a red card and ejection.

The loss ends the Trailblazers winning streak at seven. There is a logjam at the top of the PacWest standings with four teams having three or less ties and losses. Dixie State will play one of those teams next week when Cal Baptist comes to visit. They will also face Concordia next week who sit just below the Blazers in fifth.

“We still have a shot to take one of the top spots in the conference,” said Bingham. “There are still a lot of games to be played. We are only a few points out.”

DSU drops to 9-6 overall and 7-3 in conference play. The Blazers will host Notre Dame de Namur Monday at 3:30 p.m.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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