Erin Dalley scored the game winner against Arizona, her second of the year.
Oct. 2, 2011
SALT LAKE CITY - The University of Utah women's soccer team (7-4-1, 3-0-0 Pac-12) won its fifth consecutive match and stayed unbeaten in conference play with a 3-1 victory against Arizona (0-9-2, 0-2-1 Pac-12) Sunday at Ute Field. The game-winning goal came off the foot of senior forward Erin Dalley.
With the game tied at 1-1 in the 64th minute, Dalley combined with sophomore midfielder Leslie Muirhead to score the eventual game winner. Dalley received a throw-in, played the ball back to Muirhead and spun off her defender toward goal. Muirhead then slipped a perfectly weighted ball through the back line for Dalley to run on to and the senior calmly slid it home. It was Dalley's fourth goal of the season, her second game-winning strike, and Muirhead's first assist of the year.
Utah got on the board first as senior defender Lauren Porter buried her first goal of the season with a left-footed strike from four yards out in the 15th minute. A corner kick from freshman midfielder Ashton Hall resulted in a loose ball that was played back into the box, where senior defender Lauren Dudley flicked it on with her head. Dudley's pass found Porter, who took it off her chest and blasted the shot. It was Porter's first start since Aug. 28 at BYU, when she went down with a knee injury that forced her to miss eight games.
Arizona tied the game in the 26th minute as Ana-Maria Montoya collected a loose ball on the right side of the Utah penalty box and hit a well-placed chip toward the upper left corner. Utah goalkeeper Hannah Turpen got her fingertips on it but couldn't keep it out of the goal as the Wildcats brought the game even at 1-1.
"After the start we had to the season, to see our players believing in themselves and playing with confidence is the turning point for me," said head coach Rich Manning. "I know they believe they can win these games."
Turpen finished the game with four saves and improved to 7-4 on the season. Her Arizona counterpart, Ashley Jett, made five saves for the Wildcats. Utah outshot Arizona overall, 16-15, with shots on goal going 8-5 for the Utes. Corners were a 6-1 advantage for Utah, while fouls went against the home side, 9-6.
Utah has now won five straight matches and seven of its last eight. Since beginning the year 0-3-1, Utah is 7-1-0, with a 5-0 home record, a 1-1 away mark and a neutral-site victory during that stretch. Since failing to score in any of its first four games, the Utes are averaging more than two goals per game.
With the goals by Porter and Lemeza, Utah has now had 10 different players score this season, including seven players who have tallied the first of their respective careers. Six different players have accounted for game winners.
The Utes are back in action Friday, Oct. 7, as they travel to Pullman, Wash., to face Washington State. Kickoff is slated for 4 p.m. MT. They will then head to Seattle for a Sunday tilt at Washington.