Bengals offense explodes
POCATELLO — When the Idaho State soccer team left the pitch of Davis Field last week after a 2-0 win over Salt Lake Community College, head coach Allison Gibson said her team was still a long ways away from being ready for the beginning of the season.
After a week from the pressure of Davis Field and a team building trip up Ashton, the Bengals took to the field for the final preseason game Tuesday against the College of Idaho.
One of the things the team had struggled with during the preseason was finishing around the goal.
In the two preseason games prior to Tuesday, the Bengals had scored just four goals, so improving on that with the season opener looming was key.
It took a little over four minutes for the Bengals to get on the board, but once Lanie Ward's shot hit the back of the net, the goals came in bunches.
ISU outshot the Coyotes 23-4 on the way to a 9-0 victory.
"We had a lot more better defined runs towards the goal today than we have had in the last two games and we worked really hard on that," Gibson said. "We actually did a good job on our set pieces. If I remember correctly we scored three times off of set pieces. One of our main goals this season is to have a 2-to-1 average scoring on set pieces. I think we did a good job on those today."
The first two goals on set pieces, came of off corner kicks on the second and third goals of the game.
Laura Benson scored the first goal in a scrum in front of the net after a corner kick. Benson somehow found the ball and punched into the back of the net.
Twenty-five minutes later Allyssa Kenney headed in a ball off a corner from Mikaela Carillo.
The final set piece effort came at the 74:40 mark when Kenney set up a free kick from about 30 yard out. The ball found the foot of Lauren Bermudez was put it in the back of the net from point blank range.
"I told the kids in pre game they are a lot of set pieces on the table during the season, some one needs to take them why not be us," Gibson said. "We have been training on those really hard."
In between the set goals the Bengals attacked the Coyotes net getting four unassisted goals, two of which came in a 12 second span from Amanda Ellsworth.
"She works a lot on her own," Gibson said of Ellsworth's skill around the goal box. "She is in those situations an awful lot, so the muscle memory of doing it over and over definitely help her out. I don't think she thinks about much while she is playing other than getting the ball past then keeper."
Senior Kiley Godfrey made her first appearance of the season thus far against the Coyotes and provided and instant spark.
The Seal Beach, Calif., native took five shots, three on goal and scored during her half of playing time.
"I think Kiley wants to work herself into the starting lineup and once her fitness improves she will have the opportunity to do that, but I think that the piece of her coming off the bench late gives teams something else to look at," Gibson said. "She brings a different aspect of the game to a defender late in games with her ability to control the ball and maybe teams will not be expecting it."
Unfortunately for Gibson and her coaching staff they are no closer to naming a starting goalie.
All preseason Gibson has used all three of her keepers, but neither has been challenged with very many shots.
With just three days before the season opener with Boise State, Gibson and staff will spend the next few days watching film to help make a decision.
"I think we are going to watch film and meet as a staff and then meat with the team and announce a starter," Gibson said. "The decision will be made on what we see in training and what we have seen in the locker room and how the players respond to the keeper. All three can stop shots, but it will be how they lead their team that will be a factor."
The Bengals kick-off the regular season Friday when they host Boise State. Kick-off is 4 p.m. at Davis Field in Pocatello.