Utah Soccer Ties No. 3 UCLA in Double Overtime

University+of+Utah+womens+soccers+forward+Megan+Lusher+%2811%29+plays+in+the+match+vs.+Dixie+State+at+Utes+field+on+the+University+of+Utah+campus+on+Sept.+12%2C+2021.+%28Photo+by+Xiangyao+Axe+Tang+%7C+The+Daily+Utah+Chronicle%29%0A

Xiangyao Tang

University of Utah women’s soccer’s forward Megan Lusher (11) plays in the match vs. Dixie State at Ute’s field on the University of Utah campus on Sept. 12, 2021. (Photo by Xiangyao “Axe” Tang | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Sean Overton, Sports Writer

 

After drawing even with Washington at 1-1 (2OT), the University of Utah soccer team (5-5-3) took a road trip to Los Angeles to face No. 3 UCLA and No. 11 USC.

UCLA has been very dominant so far this season, averaging 2.18 goals per game and allowing only .45 coming into the matchup. And the stats have shown results, as the Bruins sit at 10-0-2 on the season after battling Utah to a draw.

Both teams were able to score in the first half, entering halftime 1-1. But neither team was able to score again, as the game ended 1-1 (2OT). UCLA had many late-game opportunities, but Utah’s defense was able to stand up to the challenge.

The Utes have now faced the Bruins 12 times, going 2-8-2. The last time Utah beat UCLA was Oct. 30, 2016, with Utah winning 2-0 at home.

UCLA is obviously a very dominant team this season, but Utah was able to keep pace with them in the first half. Both teams had multiple attempts in the first half, but neither was able to convert until Kennedy Faulknor opened the scoring for UCLA in the 38th minute.

Utah was determined not to enter halftime being down a goal, and they narrowly avoided it in the 40th minute. The Utes got a close free kick opportunity that Courtney Talbot was able was able to capitalize on and even the game at 1-1.

Utah was able to take three shots in the first half, placing two of them on goal. Comparatively, UCLA took six shots in the first half, with five of them on goal. Chelsea Peterson did a fantastic job, recording four saves in the first half.

Both teams came out of halftime playing aggressive, with Utah looking to win against the highest-ranked opponent that they have faced all season. UCLA, on the other hand, was determined to remain undefeated.

UCLA kept constant pressure on Utah’s defense as the game neared the end. They even had a last-second corner kick that was stopped by the Utes. UCLA had multiple shots and opportunities on goal, but Utah was able to come up with some clutch saves and the game remained tied at 1-1.

Only two other teams have taken UCLA to overtime this season, Oregon and Arizona State. The Oregon game resulted in a 0-0 tie, and UCLA defeated Arizona State 4-3 in the first overtime period.

In the first halftime period, Maryn Granger committed a foul inside of the box, giving UCLA a penalty kick opportunity. Marley Canales took the penalty for the Bruins, but Peterson came up with another clutch save to keep the Utes alive.

But neither team was able to score in overtime, and the game ended with a 1-1 tie. Obviously it wasn’t another win for the Utes, but they can’t be disappointed with the results. They were able to play on the road against a very powerful UCLA team and hold them off to double overtime.

Utah’s next matchup will be another road game in Los Angeles, this time facing the No. 11 USC Trojans, currently 9-2-0. The game will be played on Oct. 10 at 3 p.m. MDT and broadcast on Pac-12 networks.

 

[email protected]

@SeanOverton3