Soccer team looks to move forward after loss

By By Matt Sanchez, Staff Writer

By Matt Sanchez, Staff Writer

After picking up its first loss of the season Wednesday night against Weber State, the women’s soccer team (4-1) looks to bounce back against another tough opponent. The Utes will host the college of William and Mary (1-1) on Sunday. The game is slated to begin at 1 p.m. at Ute Field.

This will be the first-ever meeting between the two teams and promises to be a good matchup.

“We don’t know a lot about this year’s William and Mary team,” said head coach Rich Manning. “However, they are one of the traditional powers in women’s soccer.”

The William and Mary Tribe opened their season at home with a 0-3 loss to Charlotte. Charlotte came out of the gates as the aggressor and W&M couldn’t recover from two early goals.

The Tribe rebounded in their next game with a 3-1 victory over Monmouth University. Despite steady rainfall and sloppy conditions, W&M was able to move the ball and consistently put shots on the goal.

Since they are making the long trip west from Williamsburg, Va., the Tribe figured they should fit in a couple of matches. Before they face the Utes, W&M will travel to Provo to face off against BYU on Friday night. This will be the second-ever meeting between the two; the Tribe beat the Cougars 4-1 last season.

“I’m excited to play on Sunday so we can keep moving forward as a team,” said U junior forward Lauren Hair.

The Tribe is led by legendary coach John Daly. Daly is now in his 23rd season at W&M and has amassed a record of 309-124-37. He has led the team to NCAA Tournament appearances in 16 of the past 17 years. Daly is regarded as one of the best women’s coaches of all time and is one of only four coaches in NCAA history to win 300 games with the same school.

“John Daly is one of the finest coaches in the country, so I’m sure it will be another great challenge,” Manning said.

Leading the Tribe is senior forward Kellie Jenkins. Jenkins’ lone goal of the season thus far came against Charlotte. Last season, Jenkins was second on the team in points (15) and goals (6) and scored four game-winning goals. She is a speedy forward and could give the Utes trouble on the wings.

Also making strides for W&M is freshman midfielder Mallory Schaffer. Schaffer scored one goal and assisted on another in their win against Charlotte.

“William and Mary is always good,” said senior midfielder Kelly Isleib. “They are a dangerous team with a lot of speed, so we need to come to play on Sunday.”
After losing to Weber, Manning does not expect his young players to feel sorry for themselves and said he believes they will be ready for another stiff competitor in W&M.

“My gut feeling is we’ll bounce back,” Manning said. “This is a positive group that gets along very well. They’ll stick together through the highs and lows. We are a growing team, and growth is not always linear. Sometimes you take a step back and then make progress.”

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Lennie Mahler/The Daily Utah Chronicle

Lauren Hair and the Utes will look to get back on the winning track Sunday when they face William and Mary, one of the powers in women?s soccer each year.