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The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Utah Soccer Suffers Hefty Defeat Against Top-Ranked BYU

The loss drops the Utes to a record of 3-2-2 for the 2023 season.
Utah+midfielder+Lillian+Blum+%2818%29+in+the+game+versus+Utah+Valley+Wolverines+at+Ute+Soccer+Field+in+Salt+Lake+City%2C+Utah%2C+on+Wednesday%2C+Aug.30%2C+2023.+%28Photo+by+Xiangyao+%E2%80%9CAxe%E2%80%9D+Tang+%7C+The+Daily+Utah+Chronicle%29
Xiangyao Tang
Utah midfielder Lillian Blum (18) in the game versus the Utah Valley Wolverines at Ute Soccer Field in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (Photo by Xiangyao “Axe” Tang | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

 

The Utah women’s soccer team faced off against infamous rivals the BYU Cougars this past Saturday. The matchup saw a jam-packed Ute Field as Utah fans from up and down the valley were looking to see the Lady Utes knock off the No. 1 BYU Cougars. The matchup saw the largest crowd in Ute Field history, with 3,224 fans in attendance. Unfortunately, the Utes were never able to gain momentum and fell to the Cougars by a score of 1-6. 

The loss drops the Utes to a record of 3-2-2 for the 2023 season.

The Cougars scored early on in the game, as forward Allie Fryer sank one in the back of the net just shy of the fifth minute. The Cougars scored twice more quickly, making the score 3-0 before the 30th minute. 

Utah continued to stay aggressive and in the 36th minute freshman forward Kennedy Schoennauer drew a foul, leading to a Katie O’Kane penalty shot. With the pressure of scoring against the Utes’ bitter rivals, O’Kane showed her experience, and the senior forward put the ball past the BYU goalkeeper, making the score 3-1 for BYU. The goal was O’Kane’s second goal of the season.

Going into halftime down 1-3, Utah had to play aggressively during the second half if they wanted a chance to win the match. Unfortunately for Utah, the No. 1 ranked Cougars showed more energy. BYU finished the match with 25 shots compared to Utah’s 6. BYU also finished with 15 shots on goal, twelve more than Utah’s three. The Cougars never took their foot off the gas and scored three more goals during the second half, making the final score 6-1 in favor of BYU. 

“BYU was simply better than us today,” head coach Hideki Nakada told Utah Athletics.

“I thought we started off well and looked good in our possession early on but giving up a goal with their first shot took a lot out of us and gifting them the next two goals essentially was too much for us to come back from.”

Nakada also offered some encouragement to Utes fans.

“I know our team is significantly better than what we showed today, so I am disappointed for our players but we will learn and move on from this and get ready for our next match,” he said. 

One positive takeaway from the match is that Utah goalkeeper Kasey Wardle had a career-high save game, tallying nine saves in total.

The Utes will continue in state play as they will be traveling to Ogden on Sept. 14th to face off against the Weber State Wildcats. The game will be streamed on the Pac-12 Network at 7 p.m. MT. 

 

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@max_valva

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About the Contributors
Max Valva, Sports Writer
Max Valva is a sports writer for the Daily Utah Chronicle and is a studying journalism. Growing up playing basketball he made it his goal to pursue a career connected to the game. He is a diehard A’s, Warriors and Raiders fan.
Xiangyao Tang, Photo Director
Axe is a photographer and the photo director of the Daily Utah Chronicle. He is from China and is a senior majoring in computer science and minoring in digital photography. Axe joined the Chronicle in August of 2021. In addition to his position at the Chrony, he is also a photo intern for University of Utah Athletics. When he's not writing code, you will find him rock climbing, camping, skiing or hiking with his camera.

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