March 17, 2008
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina -- The University of Utah women's soccer team kicked off its tour of South America on Monday afternoon and rode a pair of early goals by Erin Dalley to a 6-0 victory over Argentine club team, Huraca´n.
Goalkeepers Amy Edman and Emalee Rogers split time and shared the shutout. The game was played on a rough and hard field at the training facility of Huraca´n in the Bajo Flores area in the south part of Buenos Aires on a warm afternoon. The sidelines were jammed with coaches and young boys from the Huracan club who were shocked to see the speed of play from the American girls. There was also a small contingent of Ute parents and fans present to cheer on the visitors.
"It was truly a great environment and unique to play against an opponent with a different style," Utah head coach Rich Manning said. "I thought we performed well under some unique travel and playing conditions. I was most pleased that we improved our passing and possession as the game wore on. The opponent gave a great effort and made it difficult for us, but I thought we were solid for the majority of the match. It was fun to be at a club, with all of the kids showing up as they arrived from school and so excited to be at the training facility and ready for practice. he young boys were watching and were amazed to see the girls playing at such a good level."
Dalley opened the scoring in the 4th minute as Kelly Isleib sent a long through ball to Lauren Hair on the right wing. Hair slipped a pass to Dalley, who slammed it home. Later, freshman Nicole Cardon found Dalley on the left wing. She sidestepped a defender and calmly shot it past the on-rushing goalkeeper to make it 2-0 in the 23rd minute.
Utah found a nice rhythm and was able to tire out the hosts. But the Utes missed a few chances to add to the score. Christoffers hit the post and Paola Marsenaro headed over the bar.
Christoffers got her second goal of the afternoon after a nice feed from Kiley Jones in the 78th minute, giving the Utes their final margin of victory. All that remained was to try to preserve the shutout and goalkeeper Emalee Rogers did her part, smothering a point-blank shot in the 85th minute.
"I felt good in spite of the long travel," Christoffers said. "It was hard to play on the field, as it was bumpy. It was different to play against a team from another country, but they made it hard on us. It was rewarding to get some goals after the hard work we´ve put in over the last two months."
The Utes will travel to Montevideo in the morning and will face the national team from Uruguay Wednesday morning. It will be a special match for senior Paola Marsenaro, who hails from Uruguay and will have her grandmother and other family members present.