SHERIDAN —Sheridan College head women’s soccer coach Mallery Marshall likened goal scoring to the common cold Saturday, and the Lady Generals caught the bug.
“Goal scoring is contagious,” Marshall said after her squad dropped Northwest College in an easy 6-0 victory at Maier Field.
Sheridan’s six-goal evening came on the heels of a 3-0 victory over Western Wyoming Friday, a game in which Hannah Ozmon kicked off the barrage of scoring with a goal in the 12th minute. Ozmon once again got things rolling for SC Saturday, and she needed even less time to do it.
Less than five minutes into the match, the freshman forward found the back of the net off a Sidney Burrell assist. In the 17th minute, Ozmon struck again, the second goal off a Madi Klein assist.
“It starts with Hannah Ozmon,” Marshall said of the weekend’s abundance of scoring. “From the first time I saw her play, I just knew she was a goal scorer. Some people just are by nature, like born that way almost. She’s a talented player, for sure, but we have lots of talent on this team. There’s just something about her that she’s just going to score, and like I said, I feel like it’s contagious.”
Ozmon passed the bug on to her teammates Saturday in a big way, literally and figuratively. Ozmon assisted Kristen Franke in the 20th minute, giving Sheridan a 3-0 halftime lead before Sidney Burrell got in on the action.
In the 58th minute, Burrell stripped a Northwest defender and put in a chip shot. Seven minutes later, Burrell won a header off a corner kick, and she completed the hat trick with an 85th-minute shot across the box and past the keeper.
Saturday’s extravaganza was the most goals the Lady Generals have scored since Marshall took over last year.
Only once in the entire 2016 season did SC score more than two goals, a 4-0 win over Northwest in the next-to-last game of the season.
Already in 2017, though, the Lady Generals have scored at least three goals in three of their four matches. They scored three in a tie with Southern Nevada to open the season and three in the win over Western Friday before Saturday’s scoring frenzy.
The scoring is a good sign for Marshall and her squad, but two lopsided victories to open the Region IX season have the coach feeling even better.
Still with plenty of soccer to play, Marshall said her team has a lot to build off of, but confidence is high after the weekend’s two wins.
“I think some high standards were set by this team when they came in,” Marshall said before acknowledging Sheridan’s tie with Southern Nevada and 4-1 loss to Utah State University-Eastern. “When we scheduled the preseason games that we did, they were kind of disappointed in the results, and that means the score, not necessarily how they played. But I would much rather play really difficult games coming into conference ready to play rather than games that aren’t going to test us.”
The win over Western especially helps Sheridan with Gillette College next on the schedule. Western beat Gillette Saturday, meaning a win for Sheridan over Gillette creates even more of a gap near the top of the conference standings.
It also makes next weekend’s match with the Pronghorns that much more critical. To add to the pressure, this is the first year GC introduced its soccer program, so Marshall and her players will enter the contest a bit blind to Gillette’s roster and style.
Carrying momentum from two big conference wins, Marshall hopes, will alleviate some of the pressure against Gillette.
“We’ve seen physicality; we’ve seen size; we’ve seen speed,” Marshall said. “At this point, the only team that’s going to beat us is ourselves.
“When we possess the ball, we are incredibly lethal at time,” she added. “But we have to possess. Hopefully we can look to do that against Gillette, but it will be a big test.”
Sheridan (2-1-1) hosts Gillette College Sept. 16 at 5 p.m.