Heading to the top

“We are the best team in the conference and we are looking good,” said reigning Big Sky Golden Boot winner and junior Frankie Ross. “Watch out Weber!”

“We are the best team in the conference and we are looking good,” said reigning Big Sky Golden Boot winner and junior Frankie Ross. “Watch out Weber!”

These words came after the Portland State soccer team ran riot around the defense of second-place Idaho State with a thumping 4-1 whitewash on Friday. The Vikings then capped their senior day weekend with a resounding 2-0 victory over Weber State on Sunday.

Following the pair of wins, Portland State claimed first place in the Big Sky Conference with just one match left to play.

In Friday’s match at PCC-Rock Creek, the Viks drew first blood against Idaho State in the 12th minute. Portland State’s all-time leading goal scorer, senior Dolly Enneking, slotted the ball into the upper corner of the net off a high cross from senior Kat Robertson to start Portland State’s cruise to the top.

In the 24th minute, Enneking passed the ball to midfielder Amanda Dutra, who redirected it in Ross’ path. Ross made no mistake and scored her third goal to make it a 2-0 game.

After a dry run in terms of goals at the start of the season, Ross has come into form during conference play.
“I think I am in the swing of things now,” Ross said. “Even last year, I never scored a goal until conference, so I think it is a repeat of what happened then.”

Ross’ confidence level does not end with herself. She knows the team is also getting in the swing of things.
“We are a very cohesive unit now, and we are getting dangerous all the time. We are getting together on the defense, and we are not conceding any goals,” she said.

In the 25th minute Idaho State pulled one back, when Kacey Ball slipped the ball past Portland State senior goalkeeper Cris Lewis after she lost her footing on the rain-soaked field while charging toward the ball.

Enneking then doubled her tally for the game in the 32nd minute when she scored her 10th goal of the season off an assist from Ross to put Portland State up 3-1 before halftime. With that goal, Enneking matched the Portland State record for the most number of goals in a season.

After the game Enneking said, “This is the best game we have played this season collectively, and we are gonna make it [to the Big Sky Championship] for sure.”

In the 84th minute, junior defender Emily Rhode collected the ball outside the penalty area from a corner kick and fired a shot past the Bengals goalkeeper to complete the 4-1 drubbing. For her play, Rhode was named Big Sky Defensive Player of the Week.

In the match, Portland State outshot the Bengals 20-15 and led 6-1 in corner kicks.

Following the game, Portland State head coach Laura Schott said, “Tonight was our best game of the season. It was a big conference win. Today’s win keeps us in the tournament and the championship.”

In Sunday’s game against Weber State, the Vikings dominated throughout the match and walked off the pitch as victors at 2-0. The Viks had 25 shots on goal, 13 in the first half alone, compared to the seven Weber State tallied for the entire game. It was not a question of if, but when Portland State would score in the match.

After a stalemate in the first half, midfielder redshirt freshman Amanda Dutra headed the ball toward the Wildcats’ goal in the 50th minute. Enneking found herself at the right place to sweep the ball home and make it 1-0, chalking up her 11th goal of the season in the process—breaking the school’s single-season goals record and earning the Big Sky’s Offensive Player of the Week honor.

Weber State’s frustration was evident as they committed reckless challenges on the Vikings in the second half, earning two yellow cards in the process.

One such foul resulted in a Portland State free kick outside the Wildcats’ penalty area. Sophomore Toni Carnovale walked up to the ball and bent one like Beckham, into the left frame of the goal. The ball struck the inside of both posts before going over the line, sealing a 2-0 win.

“I don’t practice taking direct free kicks as often as I probably should, but I am proud of my goal today. The coach puts a lot of trust on me—which I really appreciate,” Carnovale said.

Sunday’s match was the last home game of the regular season for the Vikings, and for the seniors on the team possibly the last match in front of a home crowd. All six were celebrated before the start of the match.

“Our senior class has been great. They have peaked in their performance,” Schott said. “Some of them have broken records, and some of them have played very impactful roles.”

Portland State goes into the final week of play leading Northern Arizona by one point in the Big Sky standings. The Viks play their final regular season match in Sacramento this Friday and, depending on the outcome, could host the Big Sky Championship early next month.

                        Portland State    Idaho State
Score              4                          1
Shots              20                        15
Corners           6                          1

Scoring Summary
11:31    Dolly Enneking
23:03    Frankie Ross                 24:10    Kacey Ball          
31:10    Dolly Enneking
81:50    Emily Rohde

                         Portland State    Weber State
Score                2                         0
Shots                25                       7
Corners             3                         2

Scoring Summary       
49:50    Dolly Enneking
69:13    Toni Carnovale