Jen Christoffers assisted on Utah's first goal against Denver.
March 12, 2007
DENVER - The Utah soccer team opened its spring season on Sunday with a hard-fought 2-2 draw with Denver University. Both schools won conference championships last season and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The game was a back-and-forth affair. All of the goals were scored in the first half. Each team had chances late to net a game-winner, but were unable to do so. Sophomore forward Adele Letro continuing her torrid scoring pace from last fall, scored both goals for the Utes.
The Pioneers got on the scoreboard early as Taryn Hemmings, their star forward, lofted a cross in the second minute from deep in the corner that found the side net at the far post over the outstretched arms of starting Utah goalkeeper, Amy Edman. Play was a bit ragged early as one would expect for a spring opener.
The Utes equalized in the 20th minute as Letro took a short pass from Jen Christoffers at the top of the box and slipped behind the Denver defense. She banged a left-footed shot past Denver goalkeeper, Danielle Wiley, off the far post and into the net for the 1-1 tie.
Utah took a brief lead in the 29th minute as Letro was taken down in the box for a penalty shot. She stepped up and hit the spot shot herself past Wiley for the 2-1 lead.
The Pioneers quickly responded in the 34th minute as Hemmings hit the net once again. A Utah turnover at midfield led to a Denver counter attack. Hemmings took a through pass about 25 yards from the Utah goal and the speedy forward shot past goal keeper Emalee Rogers, who had just replaced Edman. Utah nearly took the lead right before the half as Katy Reineke's 35-yard free kick was tipped over the upper corner by Wiley.
The Utes played with better rhythm in the second half as they were able to find Reineke on the left and Emily Campbell on the right flank. Midfielders Kiley Jones, Danielle Sample, Whitney Dorsey, Melissa Crespo and Kelly Isleib provided some crisp passing although no goals came of it.
Letro nearly had a hat trick as she finished off a low cross from Chelsea Card with 15 minutes left. But the goal was disallowed as Letro was ruled offside. The Pioneers latched on to a poor Utah clearance in the last 10 minutes, but shot over the bar from the top of the box.
"Overall, I thought this was a good start to the spring," said Ute head coach Rich Manning. "We hope to build on this performance when we resume play later this month."
Remaining 2007 Utah Spring Schedule
Saturday, March 31 vs. USC 11 a.m. Temecula, Calif. (College Showcase) Sunday, April 1 vs. TBD TBD Temecula, Calif. (College Showcase) Saturday, April 7 vs. BYU 1 p.m. Provo, Utah (at BYU) Saturday, April 14 vs. UNLV 9:30 a.m. Las Vegas, Nev. (at UNLV) Saturday, April 14 vs. UCLA 2:30 p.m. Las Vegas, Nev. (at UNLV)