Utes looking to plant the No. 2 seed

By By Natalie Dicou

By Natalie Dicou

There’s a lot on the line for the U women’s soccer team this weekend when it will wrap up its regular season on the road against Wyoming.

A victory over the Cowgirls would give the Utes (11-3-4) the second seed and a first-round bye in the Mountain West Conference tournament.

A loss would force the Utes to play in the first round Nov. 7.

After a brief lull, the Utes are back to their winning ways. Last week, the Utes’ unbeaten, 13-game streak was snapped at TCU, but the Utes sent San Diego State home with a 2-1 defeat Sunday.

The win gave the Utes — who had not scored in 299 minutes — an emotional boost.

“I think winning the game on Sunday really got us back on track,” said head coach Rich Manning. “Sometimes when (a scoring drought) happens, frustration builds up. I think (winning) kind of centered everybody.”

Adele Letro — who ranks first in the MWC in scoring and third in the nation — scored in the 69th minute. It was her 17th goal of the season and moved her up to No. 2 on Utah’s all-time single-season scoring chart.

Remarkably, Letro has scored in nearly half (28 of 59) of her career games. The junior striker has netted 18 game-winning goals in her college career and has scored multiple goals in a match eight times.

The Utes will need Letro to be at the top of her game if they want to make a run in the conference and NCAA tournaments.

Wyoming (8-9-0) has not beaten or even tied Utah in 14 meetings, but the Utes would be wise not to overlook the upstart Cowgirls. On Sunday, they dealt league-leading UNLV its first loss in conference play in a 1-0 shocker.

Winning the MWC tournament would guarantee the Utes a berth into the NCAA tournament.

There is still an outside chance that Utah can win a share of the conference title if the UNLV vs. BYU game ends in a tie.

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Lennie Mahler

A crowd of Utah and San Diego State players battle for a header from a corner kick at the end of the Utes’ 2-1 win on Sunday.