Bengals’ Miraculous Season Ends

Rachel Strawn, 18, makes a play against Stanford.

The Idaho State University soccer team’s amazing season was going to end eventually, and if it was going to end it was better that it ended by losing to the best team in the nation.
ISU lost to the No.1 seeded and defending national champion Stanford Cardinals on Friday, Nov. 9.
Even though the season ended in the first round of the NCAA tournament, the Bengals accomplished all of their season goals and will be applauded by their fans for bringing back the Big Sky Championship to Pocatello.
“To go out against the No. 1 team in the country is not a bad way to go out,” said Allison Gibson, ISU women’s soccer head coach. “This team wanted to win a Big Sky Championship and go the NCAA Tournament. This group took us out on top and I am really proud of them.”
Despite having achieved their goal of winning the Big Sky, the women’s team still gave it their all.  Goalie Sheridan Hapsic continued to show why she deserved the 2012 Big Sky Tournament MVP by recording 10 saves on 31 shots.
That was the most shots given up all season for the Bengals and for Hapsic to hold strong and only allow three to go in speaks volume about how good she is.
“I think I could sum up Sheridan’s performance when, after one save, I turned around and looked at my assistant and said, ‘That kid is unbelievable,’” Gibson said.
“She has had an incredible year and a freshman year that will go down in the history books. That score could have been a lot higher if it wasn’t for her point blank saves she had,” she said.
Idaho State ended the season at 11-6-3.  It was the last game for five seniors: Anna Pingree, Laura Perez, Rachel Strawn, Morgan Olson and Alishia Cairl.
Pingree played better than anybody in the Big Sky Championship game while Olson provided stellar play on ISU’s defensive back line.
Cairl’s passing and control of the midfield will be sorely missed next season, but more than that, Cairl has been the president of the Student Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC). The entire community will miss her work with SAAC.
Perez contributed to the depth and talent of this squad. She started two games for the Bengals this year and finished with five shots with four on goal for the season.  For her career she scored five goals.
Strawn will hang up her soccer cleats as the second all-time scorer in program history in points (47), tied for second in total goals (16), tied for second in game-winning goals (9), tied for fourth in total assists (15) and fourth in shots on goal (131). She was one goal away from tying the record for most goals in a season (11).
The future is bright for the Bengals. Allison Gibson, the Big Sky Coach of the Year, will be back, and we can only imagine what a tournament berth will mean for her ability to recruit even more talent to her squad.
The Bengals will be returning co-offensive Big Sky MVP Amanda Ellsworth, along with Hapsic.
Junior defender Allyson Stainbrook, who was named  second team all-conference, will also return along with freshman defender Vanessa Cabilan and sophomore defender Taylor McBride, who were both named all-conference honorable mention.

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