In their seventh Pac-12 appearance, the University of Utah soccer team fell to Stanford University in a 2-0 loss on the road.
The loss broke a four-game winning streak for the Utes and Stanford remained in the number one spot in the conference. Stanford is now undefeated in 36 games, and they have outscored their opponents 115-13.
Heading into this game, Utah and Stanford were statistically the two soundest defenses, with a combined five goals between them both. Since joining the Pac-12 in 2011, Utah has yet to walk away victorious against a number one ranked team in conference play.
Utah gave up goals in each half of play, and they were unable to capitalize on their own end. However, in the goal, junior Carly Nelson made six saves and prevented the Cardinal from converting a penalty kick.
“I am proud of the team’s effort tonight,” said head coach Rich Manning to Utah Athletics. “Stanford put us under a lot of pressure and we stayed strong. I also thought we defended well and Carly has another awesome night in goal.”
Stanford scored their first goal 27 minutes into the game after Sophia Smith had a long run from 40 yards away. She dribbled around the Utah defensive line and scored in the bottom corner to the far right post.
Stanford’s second and final goal of the game came from Beattie Goad, who was assisted by Jordan DiBiasi. Goad sent the ball to the bottom left corner past Nelson.
The Cardinal had another chance to score in the second half with a penalty kick from DiBiasi, but Nelson stayed strong in the goal and blocked the kick from going into the net.
“We learned some important things about ourselves tonight and we will take that moving forward to Cal on Sunday,” said Manning to Utah Athletics.
Utah had no shots on the Stanford goal until the very close of the game, when Holly Daugirda’s shot was blocked, and Paola Van der Veen kicked a ball wide of the goal.
On Sunday, Utah will be in Berkeley to play the California Golden Bears. Utah has never beaten Cal, and three of the last five games have ended in a tie to bring their record to 0-7-3. Since joining the Pac-12, The Utes are 0-2-2, and last year they fell in a 2-0 shutout to the Golden Bears in Salt Lake City.