Utah Soccer Falls In Defensive Battle To No. 18 Washington


University of Utah’s Haley Farrar (Midfielder, R-Jr.) battles for the ball during the game against the Washington Huskies on March 26, 2021 at ute field on campus. (Photo by Jack Gambassi | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Eric Jensen, Sports Writer


The University of Utah women’s soccer team fell to the No. 18 Washington Huskies 0-1 Friday afternoon in what could only be described as a defensive struggle.

Starting lineup:

For the most part, the first half of the game was evenly matched. Within the first 45 minutes both teams backlines played extremely stingy games as they tried to keep the other from scoring first.

Utah’s strong backline consisted of Haley Farrar at left back, Makayla Christensen and Ragan Fuller at center back, and Kennedy Carter at right back.

The Utes’ first shot of the match happened in the 20th minute as Courtney Talbot sent in a looping cross that found Taliana Kaufusi, who just put the ball over the net.

Utah’s one major defensive breakdown of the day came when Summer Yates of UW cut into the box and scored past Chelsea Peterson. Petersen did good in the one half of work she played though, saving another shot later in the frame.

The Utes got good possession within the last few minutes of the half but getting into the attacking third once again came back to hurt the team. With not much attacking third pressure within the first half the Utes left the frame down 1-0.

The second half of the game was a clinic in defensive soccer for both teams. Neither was able to get real great possession in the opponent’s half.

The Utes were unable to generate shots through much of the second half and the ones that did come were easily swallowed by Washington goalkeeper Olivia Sekany.

It’s interesting to point out the Utes still very much operate as goalie by committee. Despite Peterson’s one save she was pulled almost too quickly. One wonders why the decision was made: to pull a keeper after facing only two shots, especially when the defense is playing well, feels curious at best.

Backup and normal starter SJ Edwards did not face a shot within the second half of the game.

The Utes last chance came in the final minute on a corner but Washington’s defensive line cleared it and the horn sounded on a 1-0 Utah loss.

The loss is the Utes’ third straight and moves them to 2-7-2 on the season. With only five games left in the season, things look a bit bleak for a Utah team that has only scored two goals in its last eight games.

Those numbers pretty clearly won’t win you a lot of games. The Utes need to find ways to get their playmakers more involved so they can find some goals with the season now coming to a conclusion for them.

The Utes now take on Oregon next Friday, April 2 at 3 p.m. MST. You can view that game on Oregon’s live stream and follow along on Twitter @UtahWSoccer. The Utes will stay in Oregon to then take on Oregon State on Sunday, April 4 at 2 p.m. MST.


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