Soccer: Utes reflect on ups and downs of turbulent season


Steve C. Wilson

, Utah Soccer August 10, 2015 in Salt Lake City, UT. (Photo / Steve C. Wilson / University of Utah)

It was a cold, windy and cloudy afternoon when the Utah soccer team finished its final Tuesday training session of the season. Many of the younger players wanted to collect their gear and rush into the locker room to warm up, while the seniors decided to stay out on the field, help clean up and reflect on this season and theIR past four years.

This included senior captain Megan Trabert, who is slowly taking in all the little things this week and reflecting on four great years spent playing for Utah.

“I’m just taking everything as slow as I can in this week,” Trabert SAID. “I’m thinking about all the little things that happen with this team that I won’t be able to experience again. Like today for example, it’s my last Tuesday practice with the team, it’s the last time I’ll be with them in the locker rooms doing the certain Tuesday things we do today. It’s really bittersweet.”

Many of the seniors are dreading the end of the week and don’t want Friday to come any faster. Once the final whistle blows, their college and possibly even their playing careers will be over. Even though the seniors are remembering all the good times they’ve had at Utah, they are also taking time, along with the rest of the team and coaching staff, to learn and reflect on the results of this season.

The 2015 season has been full of ups and downs for the Utes. Great comeback wins, close losses, injuries, sickness and more — this Utah soccer team has experienced it all this year. Head coach Rich Manning felt it was one of the weirdest seasons he’s been of part of since he joined the coaching ranks at the U.

“You know that I’m disappointed that things didn’t go as expected this season,” said Manning. “I’m disappointed that we didn’t make the [NCAA] tournament, we had a lot of setbacks with the players from injuries to sickness, and we had issues finding consistency all season. But I’m really proud of what this team has done to overcome all those speed bumps and kept battling and fighting till the final whistle.”

Manning summed up the storyline of Utah’s 2015 season with two phrases: inconsistency and overcoming adversity. Sure, the Utes could have improved their goal-scoring; as one of the lowest-scoring teams in the Pac-12 it would have helped them immensely against teams they’ve played this year like BYU, Stanford and Arizona. But through all the struggles and setbacks, the team stuck together to compete as hard as possible to get as many points as possible.

The proof of their togetherness can be seen in the results themselves. Most of Utah’s losses came down to only one goal. They were all close matches that the Utes fought to the bitter end. The team kept going at it, even though they were down a goal or two against the tough teams they’ve competed against. They also had to work through the struggles of new players in different positions and lineup changes due to injuries — but it didn’t hamper the Ute’s determination to get something out of nothing.

Trabert also noticed this.

“I’m really proud of this team,” Trabert said. “Every game we fought as hard as we could to get something. This team had a lot more energy compared to last season, and it showed on the field. I’m, of course, upset that a lot of the results didn’t go our way, but at least we gave it our all each game, and I couldn’t have been more proud of this team.”

Utah now wants to make a statement this Friday against its rival in Colorado. The Utes want to send the seniors off remembering that no matter how tough this year was they overcame all the challenges and gave it their all, something they will use as inspiration for the rest of their lives, even when they’re not playing the game.

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