The University of Utah soccer team started off the Pac-12 play with their first of three out of state games in Eugene, Oregon where they faced the Ducks on Friday night.
The Utes fell in a 1-0 loss, despite tough playing. The loss came off of another late goal in the 87th minute. This late loss was the fourth of their five losses to come within the last five minutes of gameplay so far this season.
Marissa Everett scored the heartbreaking goal for the Ducks, off of a cross which she was able to head into the net past Utah’s Carly Nelson. This was Everett’s sixth tally of the season.
Utah stayed strong against a bombardment of Oregon shots early in the game. The Ducks had three corner kicks and a number of shots in the first 15 minutes of play. Nelson made a number of saves to protect the Utes and keep the game scoreless.
Utah had chances to score in the first half, with attempts from Hailey Skolmoski, Paola Van der Veen and Aleea Gwerder. Unfortunately, none of their shots were successful, and the first half ended in a 0-0 draw.
In the second half, Utah had some more shots on goal, but they were all blocked by Oregon. Skolmoski and Jessica Hixson each had shots on goal, and Van der Veen shot twice on Halla Hinriksdottir, Oregon’s goalkeeper.
In the final minutes of the game, Utah had two promising shots, one from Van der Veen which went wide, and one from Gwerder who kicked one over the goal. These two shots were the last two opportunities that the Utes had before the end of the game.
“I am proud of the team’s effort,” head coach Rich Manning said to Utah Athletics. “We played aggressively and executed the game plan well. Unfortunately, we came up a little short at the end. I am encouraged by the effort and we cannot wait for two more games next week.”
Nelson had a strong game in goal and denied the Ducks on a number of occasions throughout both of the halves, but she was unable to block the final shot from Oregon which turned into the winning goal.
After this game, Utah is now 2-0 against the Ducks in the last two years, but they still hold the advantage over Oregon with a 9-4-1 lead.
Next weekend, the Utes are on the road for two more Pac-12 games in Arizona.