'Lopes end season-opening road swing with 3-1 loss at Idaho

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The Grand Canyon University women's soccer team (1-7-0, 0-2-0) today lost, 3-1, to Idaho (1-7-0, 1-0-0) on Wicks Field in Moscow, Idaho in a Western Athletic Conference matchup. It was the conference opener for the Vandals, who were picked to tie for second in the WAC preseason poll, as voted on by the league's seven head coaches.

The game was the eighth consecutive regular season contest on the road for the Antelopes, who will play their first home games this coming week.

"We had 19 shots, six breakaways, and seven corner kicks today and we were unable to finish," said head coach Stevie Gill. "Until we put the ball in the back of the net, it will be a very long season for us."

Cierra Valdez led the 'Lopes offensively with four shots, including GCU's goal that came via a penalty kick. Kathryn Yancone, Caitlin Cartwright, Jessica Lincoln, and Samantha Bush also had shots on goal in the game.

The Vandals opened a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute on a goal off the foot of Alyssa Pease, assisted by Katie Baran with the corner kick. By virtue of an own goal, Idaho extended their advantage to two goals in the 28th minute, a lead they would carry into the half.

GCU held the advantage in shots, 9-8, in the first 45 minutes, although the Vandals put three of their attempts on target. For the game, the 'Lopes outshot Idaho, 19-12, as they pressured the Vandals defense for much of the second half.

Baran gave Idaho a 3-0 lead just over 20 minutes into the second half, a shot that found the back of the net from 10 yards out.

Valdez put the 'Lopes on the board after successfully converting the first penalty kick attempt for GCU this season. Valdez's first goal of the 2013 season came in the 84th minute.

GCU will now return home to Phoenix for their first two games at GCU Soccer Field, beginning with their home-opener on Friday versus CSU Bakersfield at 7 p.m. The 'Lopes also welcome Utah Valley for a 1 p.m. contest on Sunday. Fans can follow all of the action by visiting www.gculopes.com.

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