Utah Women’s Soccer Comes Up Short Against No. 11 USC


Xiangyao Tang

University of Utah women’s soccer forward Erin Bridges (20) 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 Blake Wittwer


The Utah football team was not the only one to face the Trojans this weekend as women’s soccer took on the No. 11 ranked USC women’s soccer team Sunday afternoon.

The Utes entered the match with an overall record of 5-5-3, winless in conference play at 0-2-3. The Trojans touted an impressive record of 9-2-0 while also being undefeated in PAC-12 play at 5-0-0, sitting atop the conference.

Meanwhile, Utah was coming off an impressive tie with No. 3 UCLA just a few days prior.

USC controlled the game early and often as the Utes struggled on the attack. Just a few minutes in, Utah’s defense held their own not allowing USC to get a shot on goal for much of the first half. The match remained scoreless up until the 38th minute when USC’s Zoe Burns finished to the far post to give the Trojans an early lead.

The Utes went into the half only down 2-0, as they played fairly well defensively for most of the first half to keep themselves in the game. The Trojans would go on to score five more unanswered goals. The Utes’ first attempted shot did not come until the 51st minute.

Overall, the Utes only attempted three shots on the day, one of which was on goal. The Trojans’ attack was too much for the Utes as it was a pretty lopsided showing for USC who attempted a total of 22 shots, nine of which were on goal. This was USC’s 10th straight win which ties their program record.

As far as the individual performances in this match go, three Utes attempted shots. Baylie Jackson had the only shot on goal, with Avery Brady and Kylee Geis attempting the other two. Chelsie Peterson had three total saves on the day, and dealt with an all-out offensive barrage the entire match.

“Today was not our day, and all credit to USC for capitalizing on all of their chances and our mistakes,” head coach Hideki Nakada told Utah Athletics. “I liked how we started the game, and I thought if we could keep the game even going into the half, we could give ourselves a chance, and it was really unfortunate to give up those two goals in the last five or so minutes as we had no choice but to open things up in the second half. We didn’t have enough energy left after the double OT game on Thursday, and again all credit goes to USC today. We are looking forward to be playing at home and hosting Cal on Friday.”

This is Hideki Nakada’s first season as head coach of the Utes as he was brought on in May after being an assistant coach at powerhouse Stanford for the last few years. The team has flashed serious potential at certain points during the season with impressive ties against ranked opponents UCLA and BYU earlier in the year.

Looking ahead, Utah will be returning home to begin a three-match home-stand against Cal, Oregon State and Oregon. Utah will face Cal this upcoming Friday. Cal is tied for No. 8 in conference play at 1-3-1, while Utah sits at No. 9. Utah’s overall record is now 5-6-3 and 0-3-2 in conference play. The upcoming match will air on the PAC-12 network at 7 p.m. MDT.  After playing in LA back-to-back weeks, hopefully, Utah can regroup on their own home front as they close out their season.


[email protected]