Soccer triumphs in tournament game over TCU

By By Matt Sanchez

By Matt Sanchez

The No. 3-seeded Utah women’s soccer team opened the Mountain West Conference Tournament with a 3-1 victory over No. 6-seeded TCU on Wednesday afternoon.

“We played very well and created a lot of chances,” said head coach Rich Manning. “After the first 20 minutes, we secured some things in the back that were giving us trouble. We got better defensively, and I was pleased with that.”

The most recent meeting between the two teams was Oct. 15 in Salt Lake City, when Utah won by the same score with a balanced attack that saw three different players score goals.
Wednesday was more of the same.

Tuesday, three players from Utah’s squad were named to the All-MWC First-Team. Senior midfielder Kelly Isleib, sophomore forward Erin Dalley and sophomore defender Lauren Porter received the honor, and all three shined in the win over TCU.

Isleib got the ball rolling in the 24th minute when she made the score 1-0. Off a corner kick, sophomore defender Lauren Dudley tapped the ball to Isleib, who made a kick to the upper right corner of the net.

Utah wasted no time in the second half and quickly took a 2-0 lead. In the 49th minute, Porter got underneath a ball sent by junior defender Morgan Skeen off a free-kick and headed it into the back of the net.

TCU kept fighting back and had some quality looks at the net but was outshot by the Utes 18-8.

Kaylie Garcia put the Horned Frogs on the board with only 11 minutes to play in the game when she found herself on a breakaway down the middle of the field. Garcia booted a shot past sophomore goalkeeper Hannah Turpen to bring the score to 2-1. Turpen had four saves in the game.

With time ticking away and the game still in the balance, the Utes continued to attack.
Dalley got the ball, sprinted by a TCU defender and made a great move to get by the goalkeeper. She had a wide-open net and kicked the ball into the goal to make it 3-1.
The Utes will advance to play No. 2 seed San Diego State in the semifinals Friday at noon.
In their only meeting this year, Oct. 10, the teams were forced to a 1-1 tie in double overtime Oct. 10.

“We really look forward to the opportunity to play San Diego State,” Manning said. “I thought during conference play they were one team who really took it to us, and I think we would really embrace the chance to try again. They are on a hot streak and playing with such confidence, it would be a great challenge for us and something we would want to take on.”

The Utes will play a fresh San Diego State, as the Aztecs had a first-round bye. The winner of the matchup will move to the finals Saturday at noon.

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