Following a big win last week, the University of Utah soccer team (5-6-1 overall, 2-2 Pac-12) matched up against Washington State University (10-1 overall, 3-1 Pac-12) in their fifth Pac-12 appearance.
Heading into this game, Utah was feeling victorious off of a 2-0 home victory against the University of Washington.
The game stayed tied at 0-0 for 90 minutes, and it wasn’t until eight and a half minutes into overtime that the Utes scored the first and only goal of the game.
Across from Ireland Dunn to junior Holly Daugirda, allowed the midfielder to slot the ball into the lower right corner of the goal for her first of the season.
“It’s all a blur now,” Daugirda said to Utah athletics. “I know I received the ball just outside the 18 and passed it wide to Ireland. She took it to the end line and gave me the perfect pass. I just had to slot it in. I wanted to get up there and score because we had been passing it around nicely and we needed to convert.”
The Utes have worked hard all season to push through exhaustion and make goals when the time is right to improve from last year’s losing record. So far, the team has done just what they wanted to do, and they have totaled five goals in their last three victories.
Utah had a number of shot attempts throughout the game, and they applied pressure on Washington State early, with shots from Paola Van der Veen and Kristin Fairbairn. Dunn also had a shot attempt.
Ute goalie Carly Nelson recorded four saves, her third straight shutout, and the 10th of her Utah career.
“The team played with great energy and tremendous heart again today. They are gaining confidence and I can see their belief getting stronger,” said head coach Rich Manning to Utah athletics. “The defense was solid the entire match. I thought the back four, with Stodden, Lulu, Cacci, and Tatum Thornton was outstanding and Hailey provided us with some great leadership in the back.”
Now with their confidence built back up, the team is ready for a few days off before heading into their next conference matchup. Daugirda shared that the team is ready to fight down to the last whistle.
Utah’s next Pac-12 appearance will be on Saturday, Oct. 13 at 1 p.m. at Ute Field in Salt Lake City.