Soccer Gearing Up For Start to MWC

At 6-3-0 on the year and fresh off a drubbing of Weber State and a competitive game against third-ranked Portland, the Utah soccer team is looking good going into conference play this week.

Last Week

In-state rival Weber State came into town to do battle with the Utes and fell victim to the Utah attack, 6-0. Bobbie Benegas scored three goals, her first collegiate hat trick, and Shauna Gurr-Bingham scored twice to beat the Wildcats.

Amy Kofoed scored her fourth goal of the season on a penalty kick, tying the Utah career record of 38 goals set by Staci Burt, now of the Carolina Courage. The achievement was even more significant because Kofoed?s mother, Lynn Kofoed, is the co-head coach of Weber State.

The win improved the Utes’ home record to a perfect 4-0 and provided the third shutout of visiting teams by Utah. Arizona has been the only team to score on the Utes at home, and Utah has outscored opponents 15-1 at Ute Field.

After the big win against Weber State, the Utes took to the road again to play third ranked Portland. Despite a valiant effort, the Utes fell short of upsetting Portland, 2 0. This marks just the second time the Utes have been shut out this year, the other time coming at the hands of No. 16 Kentucky back on Sept. 21.

The Utes got another slow start, allowing Portland to get its two goals in the first 10 minutes of the game. After the two goals, the Utes played evenly with Portland, but were unable to score any goals themselves.

This Week

The real season now begins, as the Utes prepare for conference play.

?Beginning conference play is just like beginning a new season,? said Ute coach Amy Winslow. ?Everything starts over from here. We need to continue to play well and take care of business.?

Utah starts conference play on the road at San Diego State on Thursday, then travels to Las Vegas to play UNLV on Saturday afternoon.

Although Utah plays better at home, the Utes insist that starting on the road does not bother them, and they accept the challenge.

?It?s a good challenge for us,? said assistant coach Jim Winslow.

From the Coach’s Mouth

Amy Winslow is pleased with the way her team has been playing. It is improving on what was already an excellent team. Winslow said that mental confidence is the only thing keeping the Utes from winning big games.

?We?ve been getting better with every game. We?ve just got to get better mentally,? Winslow said.

Winslow?s mentality has always been for her team to constantly progress throughout the year. At the beginning of the season, she repeatedly said, ?We?ve still got a lot to work on.? That mentality is helping her team build upon what it’s already accomplished and get into a solid rhythm going into conference play.

Stat Sheet

With her three goals against Weber State, Benegas tied Missy Dennis for the most goals this season, with five. But the scoring is not just coming from one or two players?eight different players have scored this season, six of them more than once.

Meanwhile, Ute goalkeepers are keeping the ball out of the Utah net. Lynssey Asay has a perfect 4-0 record, with three shutouts so far. Asay shares time with Courtney Hills at goalkeeper.

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