Utah Soccer Falls Short to Stanford in Pac-12 Opener


Xiangyao Tang

University of Utah Women’s Soccer’s midfielder Courtney Talbot (#16) plays in the match vs. Dixie State at Ute’s field on the University of Utah campus on September 12, 2021. (Photo by Xiangyao “Axe” Tang | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Sean Overton, Sports Editor


The University of Utah soccer team has already wrapped up non-conference play, facing Stanford on the road to begin Pac-12 conference play. Utah had had eight days of rest since their previous game, but it wouldn’t be enough as Utah would fall 0-3 to No. 10 Stanford.

It was also the first time head coach Hideki Nakada played his former team since coming to Utah. Nakada came to Utah back in May after former head coach Rich Manning stepped down.

Stanford has improved to 7-2, 6-0 at home, with Utah dropping to 5-4-1 and 2-3 on the road. Utah and Stanford have met 13 total times, with Utah having a record of 1-11-1. Utah is also currently on a seven-game losing streak to Stanford, with the last victory coming in 2006.

Stanford quickly showed why they are ranked No. 10, getting their first goal in just the 5th minute. They were able to repeatedly place shots on goal, but Chelsea Peterson was able to save all of them until Jojo Harber found the back of the net in the 32nd minute.

Utah had a dismal first half, taking only one shot, thought it was a shot on goal. Stanford, on the other hand, was able to command the first half. They took 13 total shots and were able to place ten of them on goal.

Peterson did a great job of not letting many shots slip past her, saving eight of ten shots on goal in the first half. ­Stanford kept the shots coming in the second half, finishing the game with 22 shots, 15 of them on goal. Peterson finished the night with 12 saves.

Utah continued to seem on their heels, as Stanford was able to hold possession and keep the pressure on Utah. As Utah tried to mount a comeback, Stanford was determined to hold their lead.

Maya Doms was able to slip past the defense and record Stanford’s third goal of the game in the 69th minute.

That would be the final goal of the game as Utah was unable to score against a powerful Stanford team. It was the third time this season that Utah has been shutout.

But it is just a bump in the road as Utah’s season is only halfway through. The team has already won more games than they did in 2020, with the team going 4-9-3. It certainly wasn’t the ending that Nakada was hoping for, but there is still a lot of time left in the season.

Just before Pac-12 play began, Utah was awarded the United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award for the 12th consecutive season. Utah has earned this award 20 times since the award began in 1996. Eight Pac-12 schools received this honor, and Utah’s grade point average of 3.70 was the highest of any Pac-12 school.

Utah’s next game will be played at home on Sept. 30 against Washington State. It will be the first game of a two-game home stretch. The second game will be played against Washington on Oct. 3.

Washington State will be another tough opponent for Utah, as they have gone 7-1-1 on the season. The game will be played at 7 p.m. MDT at Ute Field, with a broadcast available on Pac-12 Networks.


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