It wasn’t a win or a loss for the University of Utah soccer team on Sunday as they faced Arizona State for another home match on the Ute soccer field. After double overtime, the game came to a 2-2 close, Utah’s second draw of their season.
“[Today] was a real physical game and the referee called a lot of fouls,” said head coach Rich Manning. “There was a lot of physical contact out there and that poses some challenges to the players on the field because they have to try to fight, battle and play hard, but also calm down in the right moments and keep their composure and focus on the next play so that was a big challenge today. I thought we did that pretty well at times and still thought we created enough opportunities to win the game, we just couldn’t put those chances away.”
Hailey Skolmoski started the game aggressively taking the first shot on goal of the match, but the Sun Devils goalie saved the shot, preventing the Utes from getting an early lead. Teammate Paola Van der Veen followed with a shot of her own, but the ball went wide, keeping both teams scoreless. But that didn’t last for long.
The Sun Devils got the first goal of the game in the 12th minute off a penalty kick. With the Utes trailing their opponent 1-0, they tried to capitalize on opportunities to equalize the match, but each ball went wide when shot.
Arizona State defended well against Utah, defending a straight shot by freshman Jessica Hixson. But when sophomore Aleea Gwerder passed the ball to left field, Van der Veen clipped the ball into the box before ASU’s goalkeeper could stop it, giving the Utes their first goal of the game and tying the score heading into halftime.
Utah started the second half off with a penalty kick from Van der Veen, giving the Utes their first lead of the game. Towards the end of the half, the Sun Devils got another penalty kick, and they tied the score 2-2 to send the game into overtime.
Neither team was able to get a goal on each other in the first 10 minutes of overtime, which forced the match into double overtime. Skolmoski was close to getting the game-winning shot, but the ball went high over the post and the game came to an end.
“I thought we fought really hard today,” Van der Veen said. “I thought we deserved to win, but it’s hard when the referee calls two calls like those two lazy [penalty kicks], but I am really proud of the team and we showed a lot of effort.”
Up next for the Utes, they will be back on the road for their next two games as they’ll head to Eugene first to face Oregon on Thursday, Oct. 26 on the Pape’ Field.
“Today’s game gives us confidence going into the next game,” Van der Veen said. “Our team showed some great soccer today so we just need to keep that going into the next game.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. MT.