Utah Soccer Ties Colorado on Senior Night

The+University+of+Utah+womens+soccer+team+celebrates+after+converting+a+penalty+kick+during+the+match+against+Oregon+St.+on+Oct.+21%2C+2021+at+Ute+field+on+campus+in+Salt+Lake+City.+%28Photo+by+Jack+Gambassi+%7C+The+Daily+Utah+Chronicle%29

Jack Gambassi

The University of Utah women’s soccer team celebrates after converting a penalty kick during the match against Oregon St. on Oct. 21, 2021 at Ute field on campus in Salt Lake City. (Photo by Jack Gambassi | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Sean Overton, Sports Writer

 

On a warm Friday afternoon, the University of Utah soccer team (6-10-4, 1-7-3 Pac-12) faced off against Colorado (8-7-4, 3-4-4 Pac-12) for their final game of the season. Notably, Colorado has played a very good season, with only three of their seven losses coming against unranked opponents.

Both teams fought hard until the final minute, as the game came to a 1-1 (2OT) tie. Utah’s defense showed its prowess as they were able to stop multiple late attacks from Colorado.

Utah held senior night, honoring each senior with a short tribute before the game. The student-athletes included were Makayla Christensen, Brooklyn James, Hanna Olsen, Ali Schinko, Anna Escobedo, Brianna Pearson, Eden Jacobsen and Hillary Noakes.

But after the ceremony ended, the game started. Utah got off to a hot start, with Kylee Geis scoring her first career goal in just the eighth minute, assisted by Taliana Kaufusi. Utah retained their lead until the 36th minute, when Colorado’s Shyra James scored to even it up.

The rest of the first half would be a defensive battle between the two teams. Utah took four shots while Colorado took three, both teams finishing the half with one shot on goal each. Neither team was allowed a corner kick, showing the strength of both defenses.

The second half would show to be different, with Utah taking four shots and Colorado taking seven. The defense showed through once again, with Chelsea Peterson tallying three saves for Utah, and Dani Hansen recording two for Colorado.

Two of Peterson’s saves came in the same play, stopping back to back shots in the 49th minute to keep the game tied. And with both teams unable to find the back of the net, the game went into overtime.

Colorado played very aggressive during overtime, forcing Utah to rely on the defense to stop them. Utah took just two shots during overtime, one in each period. On the other side of the field, Colorado took seven shots, four in the first period and three in the second.

Due to their aggression, Colorado took four corner kicks during overtime, finishing the game with seven in total. Utah was only able to get one, with it coming during the last seconds of the game.

The game came to a close with the Utes unable to grab the win on senior night. The 1-1 (2OT) draw certainly wasn’t the result Utah was looking for in their final game, but the focus is now on next season.

Utah finished the season with a record of 6-10-4 in Hideki Nakada’s first season coaching the Utes. Although this was a slight improvement over their 2020 season record of 4-9-3, there is still much work to be done.

With Nakada gaining more familiarity with the team, Utah fans should be optimistic for the future. There will definitely be challenges facing this team, including the loss of eight seniors. But if anyone can overcome the challenges, it is this Utah team.

 

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@SeanOverton3