The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

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

Write for Us
Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
@TheChrony
Print Issues
Write for Us
Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
@TheChrony
Print Issues

Soccer aims for team unity

By Matt Sanchez

Unity is not something that a team automatically has just because it wears the same jersey. Nor can it be turned on and off, like some proverbial light switch. It’s the product of long hours on the practice field, and it’s built when you’re forced to rely on your team for help and not just a Gatorade.

The women’s soccer team (5-7-1, 0-1-0) has hit a rough spot the past few weeks. After starting the season 4-0 and being nationally ranked, the team has gone 1-7-1 since. Head coach Rich Manning said he knows the team has been putting in the work to improve its games, but that hasn’t shown up in the win-loss column.

“I am so proud of the team and the heart that we’ve shown through extremely tough matches,” Manning said. “We are so young and the team is getting so much better, but we just need to get a win to get us back on track and out of this tailspin.”

Led by seniors Kelly Isleib, Jen Christoffers and Emalee Rogers, the Utes have been focusing on the little things that make a team.

“We had the idea because we wanted to show more team togetherness,” Isleib said. “We’ve had a few tough losses in a row and it’s hurt our confidence a bit. We need to remember that we are still a team, and we are here for each other. We are such a good team, and we just need to remember that.”

For starters, the seniors had the idea for all the team members to write the same message on their hands. Nothing large or disrespectful, but a simple reminder that the team needs to act like a unit.

“When we play well, it’s because we are very close-knit,” said freshman forward Hanna Terry. “Having pride or unity written on my hand all week really helps me to stay focused and remember the team goals. Winning is all about heart and doing little things like this show that we care and that we have heart.”

In addition to the handwritten reminders, the team has found another way to act like a team. They unveiled a new celebration dance that was performed at center field after Isleib scored a goal in the loss to BYU.

“It’s called the jerk dance, and we all know it,” Isleib said. “Sometimes the game gets so intense and serious, so this is just a way for us to stay loose and have fun out there.”

Utah is still looking to turn its luck around after yet another tough loss last week in its conference opener. The team opened conference play at BYU and fell 2-1 in overtime.

The game was a physical one in which 37 fouls were called. Through the rough and tumble action, the Utes did incur one serious injury. Sophomore defender Lauren Porter suffered a concussion when she collided with a BYU player and was hit in the jaw. Porter lay on the field for several minutes before walking off by her own power. Porter is listed as day-to-day but will travel with the team on its two-game road trip this weekend.

The Utes will travel to Las Vegas to face UNLV (4-4-4, 0-1-0) Thursday at 7 p.m. PT. They will then head to San Diego for a Saturday contest against SDSU (7-3-3, 0-0-0) at noon PT.

[email protected]

Tyler Cobb

The Utah soccer team celebrates a goal from early in the year. Now when the team scores a goal the team will do the jerk dance in an effort to stay loose and have fun during the game.

Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

The Daily Utah Chronicle welcomes comments from our community. However, the Daily Utah Chronicle reserves the right to accept or deny user comments. A comment may be denied or removed if any of its content meets one or more of the following criteria: obscenity, profanity, racism, sexism, or hateful content; threats or encouragement of violent or illegal behavior; excessively long, off-topic or repetitive content; the use of threatening language or personal attacks against Chronicle members; posts violating copyright or trademark law; and advertisement or promotion of products, services, entities or individuals. Users who habitually post comments that must be removed may be blocked from commenting. In the case of duplicate or near-identical comments by the same user, only the first submission will be accepted. This includes comments posted across multiple articles. You can read more about our comment policy at https://dailyutahchronicle.com/comment-faqs/.
All The Daily Utah Chronicle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *