Utes Score Twice in Win Over Wolfpack

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Utes Score Twice in Win Over Wolfpack

(Photo by Curtis Lin | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

(Photo by Curtis Lin | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

(Photo by Curtis Lin | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

(Photo by Curtis Lin | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Brayden Ramsay

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The University of Utah Women’s Soccer Team traveled to Reno, Nevada to take on the Nevada Wolfpack on Friday night.

Utah controlled the game from the opening kickoff, outshooting the Wolfpack nineteen to six with eight shots on goal. Holly Daugirda started the scoring for the Utes with a goal in the thirteenth minute to put Utah on top 1-0.

“We got an early goal, created a bunch of chances and really controlled the game,” head coach Rich Manning said to Utah Athletics.

After the opening goal, the Utes continued to create chances. Senior Tavia Leachman and sophomore Haley Farrar barely missed opportunities to put the Utes up by two goals after an amazing double save by the Nevada keeper Kendal Stovall to solidify the halftime score at 1-0.

Throughout the game, the back four for the Utes locked the Nevada forwards down, giving up two shots in the first half and six shots overall. Payton McBride got the first start of her career at right back and helped the back line keep the Nevada forwards in check. The back four also were able to get some great tackles while keeping the ball in play, not allowing the Wolfpack any corner kicks throughout the game.

“Leachman, Haylee Cacciacarne and Lulu Borges controlled the game,” Manning added. “With those three on the inside and Aleea Gwerder, McBride and Brooklyn James on the outside, our defense played higher up the field and dictated tempo.”

The forwards for the Utes, on the other hand, continued to put pressure on the Wolfpack defense, winning a total of eight corner kicks.

Fouls didn’t play a huge role in the game, with nine total coming between the two teams. One yellow card was handed out to Nevada’s Audrey Barham in the thirty-sixth minute of the game, but the two teams were able to play the game without much stoppage.

Second half play started with a bang, as the Utes had seven shots on goal in the first fifteen minutes. Makayla Christensen, Brooklyn James and Ireland Dunn led the charge, with James and Dunn coming close to notching goals on three of those occasions.

The matchup would continue to go back and forth until the eighty-eighth minute, when Gwerder lined up for a free kick on the edge of the penalty area. Gwerder struck the ball into the right corner of the net for her first goal of the year to put the Utes ahead 2-0.

Utah’s two-goal lead would hold through the last two minutes of the game, giving them their fourth win on the year.

Carly Nelson finished the game with three saves, leading the defense to their fourth shutout of the season as well.

“We are starting to figure out each other’s style and playing really well together,” Gwerder said to Utah Athletics. “We are pressing as a team and dropping off as a team. That commitment to communication has had an impact on our success.”

“After spending three of the first four weeks on the road, we have a lot of positives to come home to,” Coach Manning said after the game to Utah Athletics.

Next week, the team will be back at Ute Field to take on the Butler Bulldogs. The game will be played on Pac-12 Networks at 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 20. Utah and Butler will both come into the game with a 4-3 record.

 

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