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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Win streak ends in California

By Bryan Chouinard, Staff Writer

This past weekend was supposed to be the last chance for Utah to work out any kinks before the start of conference play: Instead it turned into an eye-opener for the Utes, showing just how many tangles there still are.

The Utes’ four-game unbeaten streak came to an end Friday night when head coach Rich Manning and his squad were blanked by Washington 3-0.

“We have to give full credit to Washington for playing a terrific game and coming out with a ton of energy,” Manning said. “They wore us down all over the field.”

The Huskies broke the deadlock from a set piece Friday night in the 28th minute. Veronica Perez, the Huskies leading scorer of the year, was on the receiving end of Kellye Joswick’s corner kick, heading it past Utah keeper Emalee Rogers. It was the seventh time this year the junior has found the back of the net.

It didn’t take long before the Huskies struck again. Just 41 seconds later the Utes found themselves on the wrong end of a 2-0 deficit. Washington’s McKenna Waitley was first denied by a diving save by Rogers, but the Utah keeper was unable to get a hold on the ball. The rebound went directly back to Waitle,y who finished the open goal opportunity.

“I don’t think it was one of our better performances,” Manning said.

Washington wasn’t done yet. The Perez and Joswick combination struck again, only this time the roles were reversed. It was Joswick who buried the Perez corner in the 57th minute that effectively finished off the Utes.

The normally strong defense of Utah was under constant attack all night, facing 19 shots, nine of which were on target, as well as conceding 14 corner kicks.

“This is another important opportunity to learn some lessons about playing better together,” Manning said. “Playing on the road, and bringing the kind of effort we are going to need to be successful once conference play starts.”

Utah’s offensive struggles continued Friday, only managing three shots the whole game, none of which came in the first half.

But the Utah attack came to life Sunday afternoon when the Utes blanked the Cal Poly Mustangs 1-0. Although they were out-shot by the Mustangs 21-12, junior midfielder Kelly Isleib managed to score her third game-winning goal of the year. After a give-and-go between Isleib and fellow midfielder Katy Reineke, Isleib was able to make one defender miss before ripping a shot from the top of the box, beating the Cal Poly keeper in to the bottom left corner for the game winner.

“Prior to this year, Kelly viewed herself as a passer first,” Manning said. “We challenged her in the off-season be more assertive, create more chances for herself, and be more confident in her finishing. She has done that this year for sure.”

After the disappointing performance Friday, the Utes tightened up their defense Sunday and gave the type of performance Ute fans have come to expect. Rogers recorded her fourth shutout of the year with the help of her back line.

“All four defenders did an awesome job,” Rogers said. “We showed a huge improvement from Friday night.”

The offense also seemed to step up its game after the disappointing loss. After only managing three shots Friday, the Utes attack produced 12 shots Sunday, ten of which were on goal.

“I thought we played a terrific first half,” Manning said. “It was a really good half coming off of Friday’s game, that response was really good to see.”

With only one non-conference matchup left on the schedule, Utah will now turn its attention to conference play. The Utes have a non-conference record of 4-6-2 and will have a long week of practice before kicking off their 2008 Mountain West Conference season against BYU on Friday.

[email protected]

Aaron Schwendiman

Katy Reineke assisted on Klly Isleib?s game winning Sunday as the Utes finished their road trip with a win over Cal Poly on Sunday.

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