Utah Soccer Survives a Heated Match with Oregon State

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Jack Gambassi

University of Utah soccer player, Avery Brady (#26), during the match vs Oregon State on Oct. 21, 2021 at Ute Field on campus. (Photo by Jack Gambassi | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Sean Overton, Sports Writer

 

As the sun began to set over Salt Lake City, University of Utah soccer (6-7-3) faced off against Oregon State (11-4). Despite being outshot 11.4-11.2 per game, Oregon State has scored 30 goals while only allowing 16. The statistics have shown results for the Beavers, placing them at No. 22 in the latest RPI rankings.

Utah’s last time out was a 0-1 loss to California where Utah dominated possession but was ultimately unable to score. The team had three shots on goal, including a try by Eden Jacobson which was saved off of the crossbar.

Utah has struggled in Pac-12 play, and finally got the win that they were looking for over Oregon State. The Utes were able to get a 2-1 victory at home in an extremely chippy match. Utah was able to control possession in the first half, allowing them to take nine shots. The defense was also playing well, allowing Oregon State only two shots in the first half, with just one of them being on goal.

Unfortunately for Utah, Oregon State’s only shot on goal in the first half was a goal in the 35th minute. Aidan Brown placed it nicely in the top right corner, just out of reach of Utah goalkeeper Chelsea Peterson.

But Utah wasn’t looking to go into halftime being down a goal, and they responded quickly. Brianna Pearson got a goal off of a Utah free kick in the 39th minute. Play began to get more aggressive after the goal, and the Beavers committed a foul in the box in the box. Anna Escobedo took the PK, slipping it past Oregon State goalkeeper Bridgette Skiba to give Utah the 2-1 lead going into halftime.

Heading into second half, Utah once again controlled possession. Play began to get more and more aggressive. Utah finished the game with 12 fouls, and Oregon State finished with 14.

Although no goals were scored in the second half, it was not for lack of opportunities. Utah finished the game with 10 shots, with six on goal. Oregon State finished with eight shots, five on goal. Peterson and the defense did a fantastic job of holding off Oregon State in the second half. Oregon state took four shots on goal in the half, with Peterson saving all of them. Utah was called for multiple handballs late in the game, but the defense wouldn’t budge.

Oregon State began to pressure hard as time began to run out. Tensions eventually boiled over in the 89thminute, with an Oregon State player appearing to tackle a Utah player. Players quickly swarmed in and the teams had to be separated.

Referees took a couple minutes to deliberate on their decision. They eventually called three red cards, one on Utah’s Taliana Kaufusi, and the others going to Oregon State’s Brianna McReynolds and Bryana Pizarro. Thankfully no players from either team appeared to be injured, but the unwarranted aggression was enough to anger all fans in attendance.

Utah finishes with their first win during Pac-12 play, and they look to do it again on Sunday. Utah will be hosting Oregon (8-2-5) in the final game of a three-match home-stand. Sunday will also be Alumni Day, and Utah Athletics welcomes all former Utes to come show their support.

The game will be played on Ute Field at 12 p.m. MDT on Oct. 24, with a broadcast available on Pac-12 Mountain.

 

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@SeanOverton3