After a loss against Washington, the University of Utah soccer team (5-4-2, 0-2-1 Pac-12) made its way to Pullman, Washington to face Washington State on the lower soccer field this past Sunday. The score between the two teams remained tied until early in the second half when the Cougars took the first lead of the night. Washington State added two more goals to its score, and the Utes dropped the match, 3-0.
“I was really disappointed that we didn’t get a better result,” said head coach Rich Manning. “We played some really good soccer, and we created enough chances to win the game. When we were down 3-0, we were outshooting them 11 to six [in the second half] and that’s a game we should win.”
Utah started the game off slow against Washington State, only taking four shots in the first half. Holly Daugirda was the first of the Utes to have an opportunity to get them on the board, but her shot was blocked. While the Utes struggled to find success in the back of the net, Utah’s Carly Nelson saved several shots on goal from Washington State before the half.
The start of the second half had a quicker feel to it, but it was Washington State who made all the action happen as it began to tack on goal after goal. Only four minutes in, Washington State found its opportunity off the corner near the post, when the ball made its way to the back of the net with help from a header, bringing the score to a 1-0 Cougar advantage.
The Utes then saw a yellowcard pulled on Aleea Gwerder, but that didn’t stop the Utes from trying to get a goal on their opponent. Utah picked up its pace, taking three more shots on goal, but it couldn’t find a rhythm. Each chance it took, the ball either went high or was blocked.
It didn’t take long for Utah to fall further behind. The chance to tie up the match or take the lead became slim for the Utes after Washington State had another header, this time from the right side, to go up 2-0 in the 65th minute. Less than three minutes later, the Cougars struck again. Unable to secure a goal of their own, the Utes finished the weekend with two losses to remain winless in Pac-12 road matches.
“We didn’t have the resolve and the toughness that we needed in our penalty box and we didn’t cut the chances away in [Washington State’s] penalty box,” Manning said. “That was the difference of the game.”
Up next for the Utes, they will head back home for their “Power of Pink” match against Stanford on Thursday, Oct. 5 on the Ute Soccer Field. Kickoff is at 5 p.m. MT.