Utah Soccer: Upsets No. 14 USC, Drops Match to No. 3 UCLA


Curtis Lin

University of Utah sophomore forward Anna Escobedo (22) celebrates after scoring a goal in an NCAA Women’s Soccer game vs. San Diego University at Ute Field in Salt Lake City, UT on Sunday September 22, 2019. (Photo by Curtis Lin | Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Sammy Mora, Sports Editor


The University of Utah soccer team split their series versus the Southern California schools this weekend, beating No. 14 USC 2-0 on Friday and then dropping Sunday’s match to No. 3 UCLA 2-0. The team now moves to 2-5-2 overall and 1-3-1 in the conference. 


After a scoreless first half, the Utes put the pedal to the metal in the second half, dominating USC across all fronts. 

Junior Anna Escobedo scored the first Utah goal at their home field in the 72nd minute off of a Courtney Talbot assist. But the duo wasn’t done as Talbot connected with Escobedo once again in the 80th minute to score the second goal to secure the upset win for the Utes. 

“Really proud of the team tonight,” said head soccer coach Rich Manning to Utah Athletics. “We played excellent defense tonight and were able to find the back of the net a couple of times against a great team. You could see our team exhale after we scored and started to play with even more confidence. The team continues to grow.”

The Utes dominated the Trojans in all fronts of the game on Friday, recording five corner kicks to USC’s one. USC did take more shots on goal with 10 overall, while the Utes only took nine. Taliana Kaufusi took four of those shots for the Utes, two of which were on goal for the freshman. 

Keeper Chelsea Peterson spent all 90 minutes in the next for the Utes and came up with three saves in the win. 

Friday’s game marked the first conference win of the season for the Utes. 


The Utes tried to finish off their weekend with a sweep of two top-15 teams but they were slowly overpowered by UCLA on Sunday. The Utes were backed up defensively for a good majority of the match. UCLA showed their dominance in all facets of the game, doubling the number of corner kicks the Utes had with a total of four. 

Reilyn Turner scored both goals for the Bruins, the first in the 33rd minute and the second in the 63rd. UCLA had a total of 12 shots, nine of which were on goal. On the other side, the Utes were only able to put up five shots total, three on goal. Brooklyn James had two of the three shots on goal for the Utes. Her best look came in the 24th minute but UCLA’s keeper, Lauren Brzykcy, was there to make sure it didn’t hit the back of the net. 

Peterson played well despite two balls finding the back of the net. She recorded a new career-high seven saves in the full 90 minutes. She also had key stops in the 40 and 45th minute to keep the game somewhat in reach for the Utes. 

Up Next

The team will stay in Salt Lake next weekend as they will host rival Colorado in the first of two matchups between the pair. The Buffaloes and Utes will face off at Ute Field on Saturday, March 20 at 11:30 a.m. MST. The game will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks. The homestand will continue the following week when the Washington Huskies will roll into Salt Lake. 


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