Amanda Sanchez scored a goal in Utah's 1-1 tie with Dixie State College.
Feb. 28, 2006
SALT LAKE CITY - The Utah women's soccer team kicked off its spring season on Saturday, Feb. 25 at the BYU Indoor invitational. After a few weeks of running, lifting and kicking each other at practice, the Utes squared off against UVSC, Utah State and Dixie State in a series of 50-minute, full-sided games at the BYU Indoor Practice Facility. Utah defeated Utah State (1-0), and tied both UVSC (0-0) and Dixie State College (1-1).
"Our objectives during the spring season are quite different than during our fall championship campaign," said head coach Rich Manning. "We are focused on helping each player improve her game and trying some new things. I felt we were successful on both counts last weekend."
After a scoreless draw with Utah Valley State College in the first game, the Utes engaged in a hotly contested battle with Utah State. The Aggies immediately applied high pressure all over the field during the first 10 minutes of the game, disrupting Utah's rhythm. The Aggies created two good chances early that forced goalkeeper Ashley Mason into two saves. After settling down a bit, Utah freshman Katy Reineke finished off an attack with a shot from 20 yards that thundered off the crossbar. Forward Paola Marsenaro was opportunistically there to head home the rebound from eight yards out.
The second half saw end-to-end action. Emalee Rogers, who had replace Mason in goal, came out twice to thwart the Aggies after they had gotten behind the defense. On the offensive end, Katie Battazzo and Melissa Crespo saw headers just miss from close range. The game ended in a 1-0 victory for the Utes.
"The Utah State game was a great lesson for us," said Manning. "They always play with such great energy and passion. It is hard for us to play with any rhythm. We've been working on our speed of play and we were too slow in our skills, reading and running off the ball. It shows that we still have significant work to do in this area."
In the last game, the Utes fell behind to Dixie State College in the first half as a long shot sailed over goalkeeper Lynzee Lee and into the net. Utah displayed a much better passing game than in the previous matches. With about 10 minutes to go in the second half, that productivity was rewarded as midfielder Amanda Sanchez unleashed a bullet from 20 yards that caught the corner of the Dixie net. The Utes went for the win, playing with only two defenders in the dying minutes, but were unable to find the winning goal.
"The team played with much better rhythm and purpose during the last game. Some of the rust looked like it was coming off," said Manning. "I was pleased with the progress. We have several players returning next fall and we have high expectations for the level of soccer that we should be performing at. Hopefully, we'll build on this during the coming weeks."
Highlighting the day was the appearance of several Utah players that were coming back from injuries suffered last summer and fall. Goalkeepers Lynzee Lee and Amy Edman got their first action in a while. Defender Tasia Duarte, who missed the last 12 games of the fall season with a knee injury, returned to patrol the right side of the field. Midfielder Danielle Sample, back from an ACL tear, saw her first collegiate action. And forward, Carisse Winegar, played up front.
The Utes will travel to Las Vegas this Saturday, March 4, to take on NCAA Tournament finalist UCLA and Mountain West Conference Tournament champion UNLV. Both games will take place at Peter Johann Memorial Field on the UNLV campus. The Utah-UCLA match kicks off at 9:30 a.m. (PST) and the Utah-UNLV match will start off at 3:30 p.m. (PST).
Utah soccer's remaining spring schedule:
Saturday, March 4 At UNLV 9:30 A.M. vs. UCLA 3:30 P.M. vs. UNLV
Saturday, March 25 Alumni Game Spence Eccles Field House 5:00 - 8:00 P.M.
Saturday, April 8 At BYU Outdoor Tournament 1:00 PM vs. UVSC 7:00 PM vs. BYU
Friday, April 14 At NIKE Campus in Beaverton, Oregon TBA vs. Oregon
Saturday, April 15 At University of Portland 7:00 PM vs. Portland