Nothing Wild About the ‘Cats

More Wildcats?

The Utah soccer team will play its third opponent nicknamed the Wildcats, this Friday against Weber State. The Utes have already played Kentucky and Arizona, and after they host the Weber State Wildcats this weekend, they will probably be sick of hearing that nickname .

Regardless, they finish off the third game of their first home stand this year.

The Utes know this game will be another tough one for them because of the rivalry factor. Though the ‘Cats have struggled, sporting a 3-6-1 record, that?s no reason to overlook them.

?Weber State is always a tough game for us since it is an in-state rival,? said Utah coach Amy Winslow.

The Wildcats bring in a team that only has one senior on the roster. There are only five juniors as well, but the rest are sophomores and freshmen. Inexperience has hurt the Wildcats so far.

However, sophomores and freshmen?such as Wildcats sophomore forward Natalie Hensley?can still cause problems.

?Natalie is a good forward,? Winslow said of the player who leads the team with 18 points and 6 goals and has twice been named Big Sky Conference Player of the Week.

However, Ute Field has not been kind to opposing teams. The Utes are 3-0 at home and have only allowed one goal, that coming against Arizona. The Utes have out-scored their opponents 9-1 at home. They look to continue that trend.

?We?re looking to hold a shutout against Weber,? said Ute goalkeeper Courtney Hills, who said that allowing only one goal at home is a source of pride for the Utah defense.

The Utes are also hoping to be able to work out some of the flaws in their game against Weber. This contest is a good chance to be able to fine-tune matters before heading into conference play next week at San Diego State.

?We?re going to be focusing on the things we?ve worked on in practice, offensively and defensively,? said Ute forward Katie Tate.

The game also has a unique twist to it.

Amy Kofoed is only two goals away from breaking Utah?s soccer career scoring record of 38, held by Staci Burt. She has 37 goals and could very likely break the record Friday. However, Weber State?s co-head coach is Lynn Kofoed, Amy?s mother, meaning the U player will have a chance to break the record against her mom?s team.

Kofoed, however, insists the prospect of doing that is not her focus.

?It?s just another game. It?s not different than any other game,? Kofoed said. ?I?m happy that she?ll finally be able to watch me play, because she hasn?t been able to. She?s always been gone with her team.?

Kofoed does hope to break the record against her mom, not for bragging rights, but just so her mom can see it happen.

?I?m not really going to brag, because every time I bring it up, she just gets mad at me,? Kofoed said.

The Utes will then hit the road for a tough matchup against third ranked Portland, a winner of seven straight after losing its season opener vs. UCLA. Portland handed BYU its only loss of the year, and the Utes will look forward to battling a top-ranked team before conference play starts.

?We want to get to the NCAA Tournament, and our schedule is preparing us for that,? Winslow said.

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