Utah Soccer Drops Game Against Butler

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Jack Gambassi

University of Utah Soccer’s Taliana Kaufusi (#8) plays in the match vs. Northern Colorado at Ute’s field on the University of Utah campus on Aug. 29, 2021. (Photo by Jack Gambassi | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Sean Overton, Sports Writer

 

After back-to-back victories against Northern Colorado and Illinois State, the University of Utah soccer team traveled to Indianapolis to face Butler. Utah easily defeated Northern Colorado 3-0 and narrowly won 1-0 against Illinois State. But that would be the end of Utah’s winning streak as they lost 2-1 to Butler and fell to 3-3 on the season.

It was the second time that Utah and Butler have competed, the first being a 0-0 tie back in September of 2019. Utah was able to tally 18 shots in their first matchup, but only placed six of them on target.

In contrast, Utah only took six shots today but was able to put four of them on frame. Butler took 12 shots and also had four on frame. Utah has done a much better job recently of getting good shots off.

Butler started the scoring off with two quick goals. Gabby Smith got the first goal of the game in the 32nd minute, assisted by Becky Dean. Maddie Farnsworth followed soon with her own coming in the 38th minute, assisted by Gretchen Skoglund and Dean.

Utah quickly found themselves down 0-2 and needed something to pick the team back up. That moment came in the 41st minute when Courtney Talbot put Utah on the board with a PK. Unfortunately for Utah, it would be the final goal of the game, with no scoring coming in the second half.

The game started getting chippy in the second half, with Utah committing eight fouls, receiving three yellow cards and one red card. Brianna Pearson got the first yellow card in the 49th minute, with Ragan Fuller receiving one in the 58th minute. Utah then received a team yellow card in the 76th minute and Fuller was ejected with a red card in the 77th.

Utah’s defense was the key to not letting the game slip even further in the second half. Utah did not allow Butler to have a shot on goal in the entire second half. Meanwhile Utah was able to get two of their four shots in the second half on target. While not as accurate as their two-for-two in the first half, Utah was still able to dominate the shots on goal percentage.

An important statistic of the game was Utah’s lack of corner kicks. Utah recorded zero corner kicks throughout the match, while Butler took four, scoring their first goal off of a corner kick. On the other side of things, this may show Utah’s defensive ability to deflect shots and slow the attacks down.

Utah once again did a fantastic job of controlling the game despite the loss. Utah held possession for 52% of the match, a good sign of a balanced team.

Unfortunately for Utah, their schedule only gets tougher throughout this season. The team has three more games before their schedule shifts to a full slate of Pac-12 games. The first of the Pac-12 games will be against head coach Hideki Nakada’s former team, Stanford.

Utah’s next game will be played at home against BYU. The Cougars have gone 3-2 on the season, with their most recent game being an astounding 7-0 victory over Marquette.

 

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@SeanOverton3