Soccer shuts out Air Force on Senior Day

By By Matt Sanchez , Staff Writer and

By Matt Sanchez , Staff Writer

Although it was Senior Day at the U, it was a sophomore who stole the show.

The women’s soccer team (9-9-2, 4-2-1 MWC) closed out its regular season on a high note with a 3-0 shutout of Air Force on Saturday afternoon.

“I thought this was a well-played, physical game and a good win,” said head coach Rich Manning. “You know Air Force is always going to bring it, and we responded well with intensity and good speed of play.”

Redshirt sophomore Erin Dalley got the ball rolling early when she put the Utes up 1-0 in the 26th minute. Junior forward Lauren Hair got the assist as she set the ball up, and Dalley kicked a powerful strike past the Air Force goalkeeper from 15 yards out.

Starting out the second half, Dalley was back at it again as she gave the Utes their second goal of the game on nearly the same play as the first half. This time it was freshman forward Hanna Terry who set Dalley up with the assist, and Dalley found the back of the net again from 15 yards out. It was Dalley’s seventh goal of the season.

A short time later, the seniors decided to get in on the action, as this was their last game at Ute Field.

Redshirt senior Jen Christoffers made her second goal of the season and pushed the score to 3-0 when she took a pass from fellow senior Kelly Isleib in the 67th minute.

With the assist, Isleib extended her all-time Utah assists record to 28. She said she knows this was a great way to end her career.

“This was definitely an emotional day, but it was fun,” Isleib said. “We played with a ton of energy, the whole team gave 100 percent, and this was a good team to play against. Getting that assist was a fun way to end it here, and it was awesome that Jen got that great header. Senior-to-senior for a goal on Senior Day.”

The Utes played great defense down the stretch to secure the shutout. Sophomore goalkeeper Hannah Turpen was credited with her fifth shutout on the season. Senior goalkeeper Emalee Rogers did not play her usual position but did see action as a field player.

“It was great to get a win on Senior Day,” Manning said. “Our players definitely rallied around them, and everyone got to play, even Emalee (Rogers) with her cast. Jen got a goal and Kelly did a good job as well.”

Utah already had its ticket punched for the Mountain West Conference Tournament, but this win gives it the No. 3 seed.

The tournament, hosted by BYU, will begin Wednesday in Provo. In the opening game of the tournament, the Utes will face off against TCU at noon.

Utah beat TCU 3-1 in Salt Lake City when the two teams met earlier this year.

If the Utes get by the Horned Frogs, they will have No. 2 seed San Diego State waiting for them. That game is scheduled to kick off Thursday at noon.

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Lennie Mahler/The Daily Utah Chronicle

Kelly Isleib added to her all-time Utah assists record during Senior Day at Ute field. Isleib assisted on Jen Christoffer?s goal, which gave the Utes a 3-0 lead.