‘Playing angry’

Soccer

Utah is used to competing twice in a weekend, but the team got even more soccer over the weekend than it anticipated, as both of its games needed extra time to be decided. The Utes went 1-0-1 for the weekend, tying UNLV at home on Friday, 1-1, while snagging the win on the road against UC Davis, 1-0.
“It’s good practice for our Pac-12 season,” said head coach Rich Manning. “We’re going to have these kinds of weekends.”
Friday night against the Rebels, Utah gained control of the match early when senior Avery Jenkins decided to play a corner kick short to fellow senior Katie Taylor. She took the ball and passed it to sophomore Audrey Gibb, who then put it right under the right crossbar for a goal.
To some at the game, it seemed as if the ball never crossed the line and bounced back into play, therefore resulting in a live ball. However, the sideline official confirmed that the shot was indeed a goal, saying the ball completely passed over the line.
The goal was a smart play, as the Utes decided to go with a designed play, rather than just move the regular ball into the box.
“It’s more if we see it, we kind of play it,” said junior Nykell Seymour. “It just depends on how they set up their defense.”
Down a goal, UNLV started to play more aggressively heading into halftime, and in the second half the Rebels picked up right where they left off. After a yellow card was issued to Seymour for a handball, UNLV played a short pass into the box. The Rebel attacker was then fouled in the box, which forced the referee to call for a penalty kick.
The kick was placed out of reach for Utah goalkeeper Lindsey Luke, resulting in a goal and a 1-1 tie. After the equalizing goal, the intensity was picked up on both sides.
“It was rough getting a PK, but I think our team did well,” Seymour said. “We picked up the energy right away. We started to find connections, and we started going at them. We kept it in their half.”
The rest of regulation ran out without either team being successful in scoring. The intensity stayed high throughout the extra time, but neither team was able to produce a convincing effort on goal.
“Credit to UNLV, they came out with tremendous intensity,” Manning said. “They didn’t fold when we got the lead. I think we were playing angry, which is good for the energy. Sometime it’s not good for your decision-making, so I think that is a good lesson for us moving forward.”
Just a day after taking on the Rebels, the Utes had to buckle up and travel to California to take on UC Davis. Despite just playing in an overtime game, Utah came out strong, firing off a lot of shots and keeping up the tempo throughout the entire game. Utah had 23 shots with 10 being on goal, while only allowing the Aggies to have nine, two of which were on goal.
“Similar to Friday’s game, some of our precision around the goal can be better,” Manning said. “They had 11 people in their defensive half the whole game. So it wasn’t going to be easy to break them down.”
Even though the Utes outshot the opponent, no goals were scored in regulation time, and extra time was needed for the second game in a row. However, Utah needed only two minutes to secure its dominance on the attack. Off a corner kick from Jenkins, junior Megan Trabert headed the ball in for the game-winning goal and her second goal of the season.
The Utes will play the last two games before conference play begins this weekend. First is a Friday night tilt against Utah State in Logan at 4 p.m. MT. Next will be UVU at home at 1 p.m. MT.
[email protected]
@dominic2295