Utah soccer took on the Colorado Buffs on Friday, Nov. 4, in their last Pac-12 game of the season. As the game went into double-overtime, the Utes managed to finish the game with a 1-1 draw. It wasn’t until late in the game when Utah tied up the score after the Buffs took a 1-0 lead over Utah that sophomore Hailey Skolmoski scored her 13th goal of the season.
“The first half wasn’t our best,” Skolmoski said. “We couldn’t quite find the energy and couldn’t quite get the rhythm of the game going, but in the second half we started playing better. And we responded well when they scored, and we were able to get one on the board for ourselves.”
After the Buffs took the lead, the Utes fought hard to get on the board. After Skolmoski was denied a shot by Colorado’s goalkeeper, freshman Holly Daugirda crossed the ball to senior Taylor Slattery, who shot the ball to Skolmoski, and the ball found the back of the net, equalizing the game 1-1.
Skolmoski loves to score, but she is just happy that she got her team on the board.
“Like the rest of the team, the first half was quiet for Hailey,” said head coach Rich Manning. “But as the game went on, the team got better, and Hailey got better. She was super dangerous in the scoring sense, but also got the ball and helped her teammates get into good positions.”
While the Utes managed not to take a defeat from the Buffs, a tied game wasn’t ideal for the team. Manning said the improvement the team needs to make for next week’s tournament is to approach the game with energy, and the rest is just fine-tuning the details. But for Skolmoski, it’s all about the rhythm.
“Whether we are playing at home or away — we don’t know for sure yet — our biggest thing is that we need to be able to set the tone of the game for ourselves at the beginning rather than letting the game come to us,” Skolmoski said.
“Well we got a result against another really good team. We didn’t start the game the way we wanted to or needed to, but I think in the second half and in overtimes, we played with the kind of energy and focus that we needed and created some good chances. We did a great job to climb back and tie the game up and almost get a win out of it, so there were some good things to take from the game. Obviously a point is always good, but I also think there were some good lessons learned that we can take and say, ‘We can do better,’” — Manning said.