Soccer splits west coast road trip

By By Natalie Dicou

By Natalie Dicou

It took the U women’s soccer team three halves to get fired up. But in the fourth half of the year, the Utes shed their early-season lethargy and cranked up their intensity.

Despite a low-energy effort Friday, the Utes managed to edge out Arizona 2-1. But a second-half surge wasn’t enough to overcome No. 25 Long Beach State in the Utes second match of the year on Sunday. The 49ers defeated the Utes 1-0 in overtime.

“It looked like a first game for sure,” coach Rich Manning said of the Arizona match. “We have a lot we can work on, but we did some terrific things as well.”

Junior midfielder Katy Reineke scored Utah’s maiden goal of the season in the 12th minute on a free kick from 30 yards out.

“I enjoy taking free kicks,” said Reineke. “The goalie was sort of on the left side of the goal so I shot it into the right corner. It feels good to score one.”

All-American honoree Adele Letro gave the Utes a two-goal advantage early in the second half when her 12-yard chip shot found the back of the net. Freshman Lauren Hair earned the assist.

The Arizona Wildcats gave the Utes a scare in the 79th minute when Karina Camacho blasted a point-blank shot past Ute goalkeeper Lynzee Lee.

But the Utes didn’t allow another goal and escaped with the win despite being out-shot 8 to 5.

“Come NCAA selection time, it’s going to serve us well,” Manning said of the victory.

The Utes weren’t able to keep their perfect season intact for long though.

On Sunday, Utah fell to Long Beach State in a match closely monitored by the referee.

“The referee called a lot of fouls,” Manning said. “It was kind of shocking to me because the game wasn’t high energy.”

The Utes went into halftime tied at zero after a sleepy first half.

But Utah emerged from the break fired up and played the best soccer of their young season from the 45th minute to the 75th minute, Manning said.

“We created two really good scoring chances during that stretch. We just didn’t convert,” said Manning.

Statistically, the Utes outplayed Long Beach State, out-shooting the 49ers 15-8. Letro and Ute forward Erin Dalley each had a good look at the goal late in the game but couldn’t finish.

The 49ers sunk the Utes in overtime when Long Beach State’s Lindsay Bullock headed in the match-winning goal off a corner kick.

“I think we played really well,” Reineke said. “We just didn’t finish on our opportunities. It should have at least been a three-zero game (in favor of Utah).”

Despite the disappointing result, Manning was pleased with how a few Utes played, especially midfielder Kelly Isleib.

“(Isleib) was getting the ball and creating havoc for the other team, dribbling right at people. It was one of the better games of her career.”

The Utes are now 1-1-0. Their schedule doesn’t get any less harrowing. On Thursday, they’ll take on No. 14 Colorado in Boulder, Colo.

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Jarad Reddekopp

Alyssa Toomey maneuvers down the field during a practice scrimmage. The Utes defeated Arizona, but fell to Long Beach State on the road over the weekend.