Despite Dominant Possession, Utah Women’s Soccer Loses to Colorado


University of Utah Soccer Team plays an NCAA game against University of California Los Angeles in at the Utes Soccer Field in Salt Lake City on 14 March 2021 (Photo by Abu Asib | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Cole Bagley, Sports Editor


Despite dominating possession for the majority of the match, an early goal by Colorado would decide the outcome as the University of Utah women’s soccer team failed to equalize and would lose 0-1.

First Half

While the Utes dominated possession through the first five minutes of play, constantly attacking in the Buffaloes half, it would be Colorado who struck first and early. After being awarded a throw-in near the right corner of the Utes’ half, the ball was launched into the middle, bounced around and dropped at the feet of forward Shyra James, who fired it into the back of the net. An unfortunate turn of events but nonetheless, Colorado led 1-0 after just six minutes. 

As play resumed, the possession mostly remained with Utah. Their first real opportunity came in the 14th minute on a beautiful cross from the left-wing. As the ball came into the box, Anna Escobedo was able to get a head on the ball but put it just wide of the left post. Despite the miss, it was good for Utah to finally start creating chances off of their dominant possession.

Another chance came for the Utes in the 19th minute as the ball landed at the feet of Eden Jacobsen at the top of the box with a wide-open lane and only the goalkeeper standing between her and an equalizer. Unfortunately, she sailed it over the crossbar and the Utes still trailed by a goal. Jacobsen was visibly frustrated after the miss and you could tell she wanted that one back.

In the 32nd minute, Colorado had another cross delivered from the right side which was flicked on by Shanade Hopcroft and fell to the feet of Colorado forward Jenny Beyer, who tapped it into the empty net. It seemed the Buffaloes had gone up 2-0 but the play was called offsides and the score remained 1-0.

To finish the half, the Utes would continue to dominate possession but failed to create legitimate chances as only two of their 13 shots were on goal. The initial 45 minutes would end with a 1-0 lead for Colorado.

Second Half

To begin the second half, Utah continued to dominate possession as they kept the ball in the Buffaloes’ end. But, as in the first 45 minutes, the opportunities were few and far between as they couldn’t string together any threatening chances through the first 10 minutes.

The first real opportunity of the second half came to Colorado in the 66th minute as Hopcroft took a shot from the top of the box. However, quick on her toes, Utah goalkeeper SJ Edwards deflected it out for a corner. The corner would be well-defended and played away.

In an effort to try and equalize, Utah pushed their backline up to the half-line, trapping Colorado in their own end. While this created a plethora of chances, none of them were on target as they all went wide or were deflected by Colorado’s defense. 

In the 80th minute, the ball was delivered into the Colorado box from the right-wing. After an initial deflection off the head of a Colorado defender, the ball fell to the feet of Courtney Talbot who put it off the crossbar. It was easily the best chance for Utah, but unfortunately, it just wouldn’t go in as the Utes continued to trail in crunch time. 

Off a corner in the 87th minute, Taliana Kaufusi elevated herself well above the rest of the pack and connected on a gorgeous header towards the left side of the net. However, Colorado keeper Dani Hansen made her biggest save of the game, smothering the ball into her arms and maintaining the lead for her team. 

Unfortunately, while the Utes completely dominated possession and were the better team, Colorado’s early goal would decide the day and Utah would lose 1-0.

A Look Ahead

With the loss, the Utes fall to 2-6-2 overall and 1-3-1 in conference play. Utah’s next match will be another home game as they welcome the Washington Huskies to Ute Field on Friday, March 26, with a kick-off of 2 p.m. MST. The game will be available to watch via Utah Live Stream-2 on the Utah Athletics website. 


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