Close game ends in loss for Utah

By Matt Sanchez, Staff Writer

Winning streaks are tough to come by and even harder to keep.

The women’s soccer team (7-8-2, 2-2-1 MWC) fell to New Mexico (11-3-2, 3-2-0) by a score of 1-0 Saturday night at Ute Field.

The Utes opened their home conference play Thursday night and beat TCU 3-1, getting their record back to .500. Utah had not lost since Oct. 3 at BYU.

The Utes came into the New Mexico game after tying their highest offensive output of the season in the 3-1 victory over the Horned Frogs two nights earlier.

Kelly Isleib, Erin Dalley and Hannah Turpen all scored goals for the Utes, two of them coming in the first half. TCU’s only goal of the game came late in the second half when Kaitlyn Reynolds hit a 40-yard shot.

Utah’s goalkeeper Hannah Terry has seven saves in the win. The Lobos came to Ute Field after losing to BYU by a score of 3-0 Thursday night.

“It was important for us to come out with energy and forget about what happened Thursday, and I think we did just that,” said New Mexico head coach Kit Vela. This was the Lobos’ first-ever win in Salt Lake City and their first win over Utah since 2005, when they beat the Utes 1-0 in the MWC semifinals.

“We are such a young group,” Vela said. “We came out nervous and not all together in the first half. We got back on track and got a great goal from Jennifer Williams in the second half. We played like warriors and held onto the win. Utah is a great team, and I give credit to our girls to battle to the end and for believing in each other.”

The game-winning goal came off Williams’ foot in the 53rd minute when she bent a corner kick inside the near post and into the back of the net. The goal was Williams’ 10th of the season and 14th of her career.

“We’ve been working on our corners in practice, and it felt good right off the bat,” Williams said. “We played great team defense in the second half and held off all of (Utah’s) shots. This just feels great to get this win.”

Utah had several chances for goal but was unable to convert, narrowly missing on several occasions. The Utes had two balls sail just over the crossbar, and another bounced off the frame.

Missing from the Utes’ offensive lineup was junior forward Lauren Hair, who was forced to sit out of the game after getting her fifth yellow card of the season against TCU on Thursday.

Lobos goalkeeper Kelli Cornell made six stops against the Utes, including a stop on Utah’s leading scorer, senior midfielder Isleib. Sophomore goalkeeper Hannah Turpen made one save for the Utes.

“It’s frustrating to play well and get good looks at the goal and then lose,” Isleib said.

Utah outshot New Mexico 16-9 overall, with shots on goal going 6-2 in favor of the Utes.

“Congratulations to New Mexico; they executed their game plan to perfection,” said Utah head coach Rich Manning. “That was to limit our chances and capitalize on one or two of their own, and they did that. I think we played a fairly good game. New Mexico doesn’t give up many goals, so when you go behind a team like that, it’s very difficult to come back.”

Utah will have a full week of practice before getting back on the field again. The Utes don’t play again until Oct. 24, when the team travels to Wyoming for an afternoon game.

“We know we are a good team, and we know how to win,” Manning said. “We will take this week and work on some things in practice and come ready to play against Wyoming.”

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Lennie Mahler/The Daily Utah Chronicle

Natalie Young slides to kick the ball past New Mexico?s goalkeeper, Kelli Cornell, during Saturday?s game. The Utes lost to the Lobos 1-0.