Utah falls to Colorado, 2-1

By By Matt Sanchez

By Matt Sanchez

The U soccer team (5-3) lost 2-1 at No. 20 Colorado (4-2) on Friday as the Buffaloes netted its game-winner with less than three minutes to play. Utah’s only goal came from sophomore forward Erin Dalley, who tallied her third strike of the year.

“I thought our team showed a lot of character today,” said coach Rich Manning. “Coming into the game we didn’t have our legs underneath us, we were fighting some fatigue from our midweek game and we took an early goal. But to gather ourselves back together and hang in there, I thought really showed a lot of competitive spirit. We played a terrific second half, we were keeping ball well, being patient and taking chances when we had them.”

Colorado got on the board early as Kelly Ross scored her first goal of the season just 7 minutes 7 seconds into the game. Erin Bricker played a short ball to Ross after receiving a centering pass from Kassidy Fitzpatrick.

Utah pulled level in the 55th minute as Dalley scored for the second straight game. Junior forward Lauren Hair crossed into the box, finding her wide-open strike partner, who one-timed it into the back of the net. Dalley is now tied with senior Kelly Isleib for the team-lead with three goals. Hair leads the Utes with four assists, which also ties her for the most in the Mountain West Conference.

“Erin made a tough decision early in the season to have a minor procedure on her knee, in hopes that she would be healthier for conference play,” Manning said. “We have been bringing her along slowly and it looks like she is on the right track to where she was a year ago, before the knee injury that kept her out last season. She’s been playing well and scoring goals, but I know there is still a lot more to come. She will continue to improve as she gets more games under her belt.”

Colorado made the game-winning goal in the 88th minute as Kym Lowry finished off a tap-in. The Buffaloes earned a set piece which was played into the box and headed across the face of the goal by Mary White, falling to Lowry’s feet. Like Fitzpatrick on Colorado’s initial goal, it was Lowry’s first of the season.

The Utes outshot Colorado overall, 14-13, while the Buffaloes held the edge in shots on goal, 6-5. Utah sophomore goalkeeper Hannah Turpen and CU keeper Kara Linder each made four saves.

“We got the equalizer and I think we were unlucky not to get another,” Manning said. “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to close the deal, and to work that hard for that long and give up a goal on a set piece that late in the game was very disappointing. This is another hard lesson for us to learn and hopefully can use the experiences from these games to make improvements.”

Utah now has a week off before heading to Los Angeles for the UCLA Tournament. The Utes face the Bruins on Friday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. PT. They will then take on Loyola Marymount at 11 a.m. at a neutral site.