Taylor Slattery and the Utes fought valiantly in front of a large Ute contingent this evening at Stanford
Oct. 18, 2013
STANFORD, Calif. - Utah soccer pushed No. 10 Stanford to the limit in their stadium tonight, but eventually fell, 1-0. The Utes dropped to 7-3-5, 3-1-2 in Pac-12 play, while the Cardinal improved to 10-3-1, 3-3-0 in league action.
"I'm pleased with the way we competed and I thought we played some fantastic soccer, head coach Rich Manning said. "Stanford is a terrific team and I thought we took their best shot. After aggressively defending in the first half, we were able to open up and create some good offensive chances in the second half."
The best chance for either team in the first half occurred right at the start when Stanford took the opening kickoff and Courtney Verloo smashed a try off the crossbar. Allie Wisner created Utah's first scoring chance with a shot from the far side in the seventh minute and after two saves by Lindsey Luke, Taylor Slattery forced the Stanford goalkeeper into making a play in the 13th minute.
Luke was pressed into action two more times in the period as Stanford out-shot the Utes 13-4. However, the Cardinals only managed one more attempt on goal as the Utes' Ashton Hall narrowly missed wide in the 29th and Baylee Nielsen had a header saved in the 37th.
Utah built confidence offensively in the opening stages of the second period with Slattery working her magic and almost giving the visitors a lead in the 52nd minute. Despite the Ute advances, Stanford would eventually earn a free kick against the run of play and Courtney Verloo would place her seventh goal of the season inside the far post for a 1-0 lead.
Off the restart, Hall narrowly missed the equalizer on a wide attempt. With play opened up, Luke made a save at the other end on Natalie Griffen to keep the score the same. The sophomore made another save on Taylor Uhl in the 76th.
Hall may have had the best chance of the game for the Utes when she found herself with a look in the penalty area with 10 minutes remaining regulation. Unfortunately, Stanford goalkeeper Jane Campbell came up with a big save to deny the junior forward. Luke added two more saves to her total, giving her eight for the evening.
"It was great to get Monica Okapal back out on the field and we saw some great communication and leadership that should aid us as we come down the stretch here in Pac-12 play," Manning stated.
Utah returns home next Friday for a contest against No. 2 UCLA. The contest will be televised on the Pac-12 Network at 1 p.m. and will serve as the Utes' Power of Pink Game.