Viking Briefs

Women’s soccer

The Portland State women’s soccer team suffered its firstconference loss of the season, falling to the two-time defendingBig Sky champion Idaho State Bengals, 2-1, on Saturdayafternoon.

In the first half, sophomore Jamie Blakesely scored herteam-leading fifth goal of the season to give the Viks a 1-0advantage in the twelfth minute. Blakesley’s goal was the 11th ofher career, tying teammates Katie Miyake and Julie Forrest forsecond all-time at PSU. The goal was set up by an assist fromsenior Karly Larsen. But the Bengals roared back in the secondhalf, potting goals to run their winning streak against PSU toseven games. The momentum swung on for the Bengals, who out-shotPortland State in the second period, 12-5, and 15-12 overall forthe match.

Junior goalkeeper Niki Brooks made seven saves in a losing causefor PSU. Shannon Boyle, who earned Big Sky Championship MVP honorsin 2002, when the Bengals defeated Portland State in overtime,recorded four saves in goal for ISU.

Portland State can clinch a berth in the Big Sky tournament withone victory in its final two games. The Vikings return home to playfirst-place Eastern Washington (6-7-2, 3-0-1) on Friday, Oct. 29,at the Bo Jackson Field at Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton.Kickoff is set for 3 p.m.

Women’s volleyball

The Portland State volleyball team dropped its secondconsecutive conference match Saturday night, falling at EasternWashington 3-0 (25-30, 15-30, 21-30). The loss drops the Vikings to11-10 overall and 3-5 in the conference.

Coming off a victory over cross-town rival Portland, the Vikingshoped to take advantage of the momentum of the victory and theirexcellent play against the Eagles. But Portland State was unable toget anything rolling in the short three-game match.

Early in the match the Vikings gave indications that they wouldmake a close match of it out-killing the Eagles 14-13 in the firstgame. Portland State, which notched only two blocks in the match,managed to force only one hitting error by the Eagles in each ofthe final two games.

Lisa Thomas slapped down 11 kills as the only Viking in doubledigits in the match. Defensively, Jessica Brodie notched 11 digs,and Sarah Sirianni tallied 10. Portland State is on the road againnext week at Weber State Friday night and at Idaho State Saturdaynight.

Viking football

For the second week in a row, Portland State dominated and led afootball game for three periods only to see it slip away at thevery end. The Vikings lost 21-20 on a 48-yard field goal byNorthern Arizona’s Paul Ernster with 12 seconds remaining in thegame in Flagstaff.

In the first half, the Vikings rushed for 113 yards behind JoeRubin’s 74 to build a 13-3 lead. PSU led 20-10 entering the fourthquarter when they backed up in their own territory. Quarterback JoeWiser scrambled in the endzone looking for a receiver. He steppedon the back line causing a safety. PSU had to punt the ball awaywith 7:02 left in the game. The Lumberjacks picked up a safety, atouchdown, recovered an onside kick and scored on Ernster’s fieldgoal all in those last seven minutes of the game. NAU took the ball60 yards in 12 plays.

The loss dropped the Vikings to 3-4 on the season, 1-3 in BigSky Conference play. NAU improved to 4-3, 3-1. It was PSU’s thirdstraight loss to Northern Arizona.

The loss feels like piling on after last week’s 31-24 overtimeheartbreak to Montana State. The loss to NAU was a similar finishto MSU’s but perhaps even more painful as it came for a secondstraight week.

The Vikings will return home next week after three weeks on theroad. PSU hosts Montana next Saturday at PGE Park. Kickoff is 3:35p.m. Three of the final four games will be at home for PSU.