Utah Soccer Drops Two Games at Home as Regular Season Winds Down


University of Utah Utes Women’s soccer team midfielder Courtney Talbot (14) dribbles past during an NCAA soccer match vs. the Stanford Cardinal women’s soccer team at the Ute Soccer Field in Salt Lake City, Utah on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019 (Photo by Abu Asib | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Ethan Pearce, Sports Editor

The University of Utah soccer team (6-7-4, 1-4-3 Pac-12) has their playoff hopes dwindling after dropping two games at home last weekend. 

The Utes hadn’t lost a game at home all season until California (11-3-2, 3-2-2 Pac-12) came into Utah on Thursday night and left with a 1-2 win.

“The energy and the effort and the commitment was really good tonight. I think we struggled defending in the midfield, and they were able to keep the ball for long stretches of time and that kind of got us a little flustered and frustrated. That was probably the biggest thing for tonight, but I can’t fault the team’s effort and energy,” said head coach Rich Manning. “They’re a very good team. All these games come down to one or two plays, and they made the plays tonight.”

Senior Ireland Dunn had the lone goal for the Utes on Thursday.

“I think that the biggest thing is after we score, to make sure that we keep pressing high up the field and keep our energy up and keep going, rather than being complacent or letting down, even for just a minute,” Dunn said. “We did have energy a majority of the game, and we actually played really well the whole night, I thought, minus maybe a couple mistakes that were very crucial.” 

Even in a loss, the Utes felt confident that they could still make a push in their final four games. Yet, No. 2 Stanford (15-1-0, 8-0-0 Pac-12) stood in their way.

Part of it, when you play a team like Stanford, is believing that you can do it,” Manning said.

For as much as the Utes believed they could get this win, it proved to be too tall of a task, as they fell to Stanford 4-0 in a snow delayed Sunday afternoon matchup. The game was scheduled to kick off at noon but ended up being delayed until 2:30 p.m. due to some early snow in the Salt Lake Valley.

The Utes couldn’t find the back of the net, and one of the best teams in the country proved worthy of their ranking. Carly Nelson had 7 saves in the game, but was unable to stop 2 goals from Madison Haley and goals from Sophia Smith and Catarina Macario. Throughout the 90 minute game, the Utes only had 2 shots on the goal, from Aleea Gwerder and Courtney Talbot. The Cardinals left Salt Lake City with their perfect conference record intact. 

The Utes have three games remaining in the regular season, with only one at home. They’re on the road to play both Washington schools next weekend before returning home to face Colorado on senior night.


[email protected]