Soccer: No. 24 Utah Prepares for Washington State

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Cassandra Palor

Paola Van Der Even (14) goes head to head against opponent Jalen Woodward (15) during the Utah Utes Women’s soccer tie game versus University of Southern California at Ute Soccer Field in Salt Lake City, UT on Saturday, September 23, 2017. (Photo by Cassandra Palor/ Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Emilee White

It has been a tough time on the road for the No. 24 ranked University of Utah soccer team (5-3-2, 0-1-1) during its nonconference schedule, and in its first Pac-12 road game of the season, it didn’t get any easier. The Utes hit the road to travel to Seattle for a matchup against the Washington Huskies this past Thursday, but they couldn’t secure a goal during the game, resulting in a 2-0 loss for the Utes at the Husky Soccer Field.

“We certainly had a couple of good chances that didn’t go in, the goalie [for Washington] would make a good save, or we would hit the post and that would have changed the game dramatically,” said head coach Rich Manning. “But I also think we were a little too careless at times and made some mistakes that game.”

Hailey Skolmoski said the biggest thing her team struggled with against the Huskies was taking care of the ball when they were in possession of it. She said her team wasn’t connecting their passes going forward, and it would lose the ball in the counterattack. Utah hurt itself by turning the ball over in certain areas and that wasn’t the style of soccer Skolmoski believes her team should be playing.

“I think we should have been playing a more possessive-oriented style and a little bit more disciplined, as well as attack-oriented,” Skolmoski said. “I think we are kind of getting complacent with where we are at, and we just need to be a little bit more willing to push ourselves and find that next level.”

While Manning agrees with Skolmoski, he is also wanting to see his how his team can bounce back from the loss it just suffered.

“Anytime in this league when you have a setback, you want to turn it around right away and not let it snowball,” Manning said. “We want to get the win, but I think it’s an opportunity for us to improve on some things that will help us.”

Moving forward, the Utes continue on the road for their next matchup, this time in Pullman, Washington to face Washington State on Sunday, Oct. 1 at 12 pm MT on the Lower Soccer Field. Skolmoski, who scored the winning goal last season against Washington State, said that in order to earn a win against the Cougars this season, she feels the Utes need to have a complete attitude change.

“I think just the road attitude [needs to improve],” Skolmoski said. “We always talk about that, but bringing our own energy and being able to carry that into each road game is critical for our success.”

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