Spring in their step

The Portland State women’s soccer team finished the spring season with a win against state rivals Oregon in Eugene earlier this month.

The Portland State women’s soccer team finished the spring season with a win against state rivals Oregon in Eugene earlier this month. With the victory, the Vikings completed their offseason with 4-1-1 record, the best since head coach Laura Schott took over four years ago.

The Viks began their off-season with an encouraging win over conference rivals Montana at the Lampson Stadium in Kennewick, Wash., in February. Junior central midfielder Amanda Dutra scored for the Vikings.

The Viks added that win to the 3-0 victory aganist Montana during the regular fall season. This regular season victory was one of four home wins in the conference last season.

Following the Spring victory in February, Portland State took on Boise State at the same venue. Despite the fatigue factor from  playing earlier in the day, the team managed to etch out a draw result. The match was an improvement from last Spring’s 2-1 loss to Boise State at the Nike World Campus in 2010.

After a month-long hiatus, the Vikings resumed their spring season this April against Seattle at home in the Hillsboro Stadium. Dutra and senior central midfielder Amanda Howie scored a goal apiece for the Vikings as they overcame Seattle. This was a huge improvement over the regular season’s 2-0 road loss against Seattle in October.

In mid-April, the team suffered its first defeat of the spring campaign against archrivals Oregon State in Corvallis. Portland State has battled the Beavers every season for the last two years. Although they lost last year’s encounter 1-0, the Viks registered a shocking win against Oregon State the year before.

After the OSU match, the Vikings got back to winning ways with a victory over Western Washington at home. Junior central defender Carlie Martin and Dutra scored for Portland State. The next day, the Viks took on the University of Oregon in Eugene and triumphed over the Ducks. Howie was amongst the goal scorers for the Vikings. This win over their reputed neighbors was the highlight of the Vik’s spring season.

Portland State finished their offseason with four wins, a draw and a loss–two of the four wins were the only home games of the Spring. Schott hopes that these results will set the tone for the upcoming regular season this fall.

For the last two seasons, the Vikings had record-breaking regular seasons, but on both occasions fell just short of winning the Big Sky title. In 2009, the Vikings won the Big Sky Regular Season Championship and hosted the conference playoffs, but lost in the semi-finals to eventual champions Northern Arizona. Last season, Portland State recorded their best-ever conference regular season (5-2-0) and finished second. However, in the semi-finals, the Viks once again lost to the eventual champions Sacramento State.

In a bid to win their first ever Big Sky Tournament title, Schott added seven new players to the team roster, five on signing day and two more this month. Amongst them is Sherwood High School’s Daniela Solis, who played in Mexico’s U17 World Cup campaign. Six of the seven new players are from Oregon.

This season, the team will miss the services of last year’s seniors, forward Frankie Ross and defender Emily Rohde. On the other hand, most of last season’s starters including Dutra, Howie, sophomore winger Eryn Brown, senior Melissa Trammel, junior Michelle Hlasnik, senior defenders Toni Carnovale and Esty Geiger will be on the team roster this year. They will be counted on to step up in what’s expected to be another successful regular season campaign. ?