During their game against USC on Thursday, Oct. 27, the Utes proved that the loss against Stanford last week was just a bump in the road, and they managed to end the game against No. 4 USC in a 1-1 draw in double-overtime.
“We went toe-to-toe with a great team, so I was really proud with the way they competed,” said head coach Rich Manning. “When you play a top 10 team it is going to be back and forth. We learned some good things about our self that we can use Sunday and moving forward.”
The Utes had a slow start to the game in the first half with not much going on besides multiple shot opportunities from both squads, including one header from senior Katie Rogers that would have given her team the lead. By the time halftime rolled around the score was 0-0.
The second half wasn’t any faster. It wasn’t until the 72nd minute that the Utes took a 1-0 lead as sophomore Max Flom, assisted by sophomore Hailey Skolmoski, took a shot that found the back of the net. This marked Flom’s second goal of the season.
“Overall, I think this was probably one of our best performances of the year,” Flom said. “The way we have been able to mix and have chemistry in this new formation is awesome. I don’t think they out-shot us or had more possession than us, so I’m really proud of the team.”
The score was quickly answered by USC in the 78th minute as the Trojans brought the score to 1-1. Towards the end of the game, USC took another shot at the goal and it was a close call for the Utes, but the ball didn’t find the back of net and the game went into overtime.
As the players battled it out on the field, neither team could score a game-winning goal, and the end result was a 1-1 draw.
“When you play a team that is that potent and you are defending a bit, it is hard to win the ball and transition and get your mindset back on offense,” Manning said. “We got sped up a little bit, and I think that is something we can work on for Sunday and next week — transitioning into offense and slowing down.”
Up next, the Utes will face UCLA on Sunday, Oct. 30 at home. Flom agrees that the team needs to do a better job of transitioning, but it’s something the Utes will be sure to implement come game time against the Bruins.
“We need to work on transitions,” Flow said. “We do a good job on shots on goal, but a big thing with the team is winning the second ball, so I would say getting the second ball and transitioning better will help us win this weekend.”
Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.