U soccer begins a four-game road trip

By By Natalie Dicou

By Natalie Dicou

The players of the U women’s soccer team know they’re a tough group to beat under the lights at Ute Field.

With their fans rooting them on, the Utes (6-2-2) play smarter, quicker and with a ton of confidence.

With four road games looming on the Utes’ schedule, they must prove that they can consistently win away from home. The Utes are 5-0-0 at home and 1-2-2 away from the friendly confines of Ute Field.

Today, the Utes begin a four-game road swing. Three of Utah’s opponents will be in-state foes.

First is Utah Valley State, which the Utes haven’t played for a full year. The two teams usually meet to play in the spring, but Utah head coach Rich Manning chose to challenge teams from California during that time period.

“I think they’re very hardworking,” Manning said. “They have a lot of new players in their program, and they’ll be very well-coached. They’ll be fired up to play us.”

The Wolverines (2-6-1) have struggled this season, but most recently dominated South Carolina State in a 6-0 rout. Six different players scored for the Wolverines, which is evidence that Utah Valley has a lot of weapons.

The Wolverines will likely have a much harder time scoring six goals on the Utes. Utah has given up seven goals in their last six games combined.

“Our players are starting to get comfortable in their roles,” Manning said. “I think we’re starting to have some chemistry on the field.”

The next few matches might not matter as far as the conference championship is concerned, but as far as securing an at-large bid in the NCAA tournament is concerned, these games are crucial.

“It’s a really important stretch for us,” Manning said. “The in-state games are important. We’re still trying to build a non-conference rsum.”

As a team, the Utes have compiled seven consecutive wins. Individually, the Utes are thriving as well.

After scoring a combined three goals in two matches last week, junior forward Adele Letro became the third-leading scorer in the country.

Letro moved up from fifth place after scoring two goals against Pepperdine in a 2-2 tie and one goal in a 3-1 victory over Boise State. Letro, who is averaging 1.2 goals per game, is one of eight players in the nation who average more than one goal per game.

Kickoff is at Utah Valley State at 4 p.m.

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Liz Rohde

Killey Jones makes a move on the ball during the Utes game against Washington. Today the Utes will try to earn a second win on the road as they play at Utah Valley State.