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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 will step up for 100th win and beyond

By Bryan Chouinard

They say the third time is the charm.

Tonight, when the Utes take on Princeton, they will be making their third attempt to win their 100th game under head coach Rich Manning. After starting the season 4-0, Utah has just come up short in its past two attempts to hit the 100 mark for Manning. William and Mary and Weber State both were able to pull off the upset and beat the Utes on their home field, 1-0 and 3-1 respectively. But with tonight’s game being the last of a five-game home stand and the Utes set to go on the road to take on Colorado in Boulder on Friday, the Utes will come out strong, defend their home turf and get one for the skipper.

Tonight’s win will put the Utes at 5-2 with five games remaining until they open conference play in Provo against defending Mountain West champs BYU.

Utah has until Oct. 3 to prepare for its MWC schedule, and Manning’s young but experienced team has all the tools necessary to not only win the conference this season, but also in seasons to come. Utah has the balance, depth, speed and weapons to improve on its conference mark from a year ago (5-2) and take the conference title.

Utah lost only two starters from last year (seniors Amanda Sanchez and Katy Reineke) but reloaded not only in young talent but also in veterans. Forwards Erin Dalley and Jen Christoffers were both lost last season because of season-ending injuries, but they have come back strong in the beginning of 2009, taking some of the goal-scoring responsibility off of junior Lauren Hair. The trio is not alone up front; freshman Hanna Terry has made her presence felt early this year, finding the back of the net twice in her first six games as a Ute. Sophomore Chelsea Forbes will also battle for minutes up front for the Utes, rounding out a group of four quality strikers that Manning will have at his disposal throughout the year. With such a deep talent pool at forward, Manning will be able to keep legs fresh up front all season.

Senior Kelly Isleib is the all-time assists leader in Utes’ history. She also leads the team in goals this season (three). Isleib headlines a Utah midfield that connects the Utes’ stingy defense to the deep Utah attack.

Although Isleib and Christoffers are the only two seniors who have seen playing time this season, nine of Utah’s starting 11 saw significant, if not starting, minutes last season.
Utah was picked to finish second in the MWC this season8212;behind BYU8212;and with TCU at home, the only major challenge that awaits the 2009 Utes this year is the MWC season opener in Provo.

With seniors Isleib and Christoffers leading the Utes, Manning’s squad has a perfect balance between youth, leadership, attacking strength and defensive dominance and will have what it takes to win the Mountain West Conference.


Rich Mannings Seeks His Elusive 100th
Women’s Soccer Seek Their Coache’s 100th
Women’s soccer hoping to win 100th game under manning

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