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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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Soccer looks to win final home game

By Matt Sanchez

Coming off back-to-back home losses, the women’s soccer team (4-2) will close out its five-game home stand Wednesday night when it welcomes the Princeton Tigers (1-1) to the Ute Field.

Sunday’s loss to William and Mary was disappointing for the entire team. The Utes were the fresher of the two teams, having had three days of rest since their last game, but came out of the gates sluggish and disorganized. The Tribe got ahead early, played disciplined soccer down the stretch and came away with the win.

Utah will need to regain its early season form, as the games will not get any easier from here on out, and the Utes still have to play conference top teams BYU and TCU. Head coach Rich Manning pointed to his team’s youth and inexperience for the consecutive losses but said he believes they will be bumps in the road that will benefit his team as the season progresses.

“It is key that we continue to face tough challenges,” Manning said. “I think it’s the best way for our players to grow and the best way we can put them in a position to learn.”

The Tigers are 1-1 this year following a season-opening loss to Hofstra, 2-1, and a victory over St. John’s by the same score. Wednesday’s match will be the first of a two-game week against the MWC for Princeton, as the Tigers will then head to Laramie, Wyo., for a Friday night match against Wyoming.

All three of Princeton’s goals have come from different players, with Alissa Bodie netting the game-winner against the Red Storm. Barb Previ and Vicki Anagnostopoulos were the other two goal-scorers. Jen Hoy has two assists this year, and Caitlin Blosser and Stephanie Iantorno have also logged assists.

Between the pipes has been Alyssa Pont, who has notched six saves while allowing three goals for a 1.50 goals-against-average and a save percentage of .667.

The Tigers are led by 15th-year head coach Julie Shackford, who has a 154-77-16 record (.659) at Princeton and a 196-98-19 mark for her entire career. Shackford inherited a team that had four straight non-winning seasons prior to her arrival in 1995. She has built a consistently successful program that had 10 winning seasons in a row and a total of 12 in her 14 years.

“Princeton is always very good and well-coached,” Manning said. “These are games we want to play in. I’m sure we will find out more about our team this week and hopefully come away with good results.”

The Utes were without senior midfielder Kelly Isleib on Sunday because she was sidelined with a sprained ankle. Isleib has been testing out her ankle at practice, and Manning is optimistic she will be back for the game against the Tigers.

“Kelly is the leader out there and she creates so many opportunities for her teammates,” Manning said. “We hope to have her back on the field soon.”

This will be the first-ever meeting between the two schools. Kick-off is tonight at 7:30 p.m.

Julian Gomez

The Utes are looking to bounce back from back-to-back home losses when they host the Princeton Tigers tonight at Ute Field.

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