Adele Letro scored a goal for the Utes against Cal State Northridge last weekend.
April 4, 2007
TEMECULA, Calif. - The Utah soccer team continued its spring season last weekend at the Temecula College Classic in Southern California. After a couple of months of training and a spring break, the Utes were eager to get back on the field and see some good competition. And that's exactly what they got as USC (1-0) and Cal State Northridge (3-2) both topped the Utes.
On Saturday, the Utah-USC match was a well-played affair. The Trojans came out quickly and aggressively, and their fast start was rewarded in the 22nd minute when Ashley Nick hit a 25-yard free kick over the wall and past Ute goalkeeper, Lynzee Lee.
After a contested first half, Utah pulled together and slowly swung play in their favor over the final 45 minutes. Kiley Jones, Melissa Crespo, Kelly Isleib and Danielle Sample showed great vision and rhythm in the midfield as the Utes pressed for the equalizer. Forward Adele Letro got behind the USC defense with 20 minutes left, but was denied at the far post by a diving save from the Trojan goalie.
Five minutes later, Isleib dribbled down the right flank past a couple of USC defenders and sent a cross in to Crespo, whose header was earmarked for the near corner of the net. However, once again, the USC goalie was up to the task and dove for the save. A couple of late corner kicks for the Utes could not be converted and the Trojans held on for the win.
Nick's free kick was the only blemish on the day for a "new" Utah defense, consisting of Katy Reineke, Amanda Sanchez (back from a broken foot in the fall), Jena Roberts and Emily Campbell in the back. Lynzee Lee went the full 90 minutes in goal and played solidly as the Utes look to replace four senior defenders and senior goalkeeper Ashley Mason from last fall's team.
Utah's performance was not as sharp on Sunday against Cal State Northridge. The Matadors got off to a flying start with two goals in the first 20 minutes. The Ute defense, which looked formidable against USC, showed cracks. Emalee Rogers, who played in the Utah goal for the first half, made two good saves to prevent further damage and the score remained 2-0 at the half.
The Utes gathered themselves and performed better in the second half. Kiley Jones, the Utes' backbone in the midfield, gave her usual workhorse effort. Jones chased down Northridge defenders and kept rhythm in the midfield for the Utes. Her efforts created some better possession. In the 60th minute, a brilliant pass from Kelly Isleib put Adele Letro behind the Matador defense. Letro pushed the ball past the goalkeeper, but had a bad shooting angle. She calmly spun backwards and laid a ball off to Jen Christoffers, who pushed it into the open net to make it 2-1.
The Utes were unfortunate 10 minutes later as a bad bounce extended the Northridge lead to 3-1. The Matadors played a long ball into Utah's penalty box. Goalkeeper Amy Edman, who replaced Rogers at the half, came out to make the routine save and the ball bounced into a divot and ricocheted 10 feet over her head and into the net.
Utah closed the gap to 3-2 with five minutes left as Letro collected a ball at the top of the box and dribbled past two Northridge defenders before slipping it into the goal. However, it was too little too late and the Utes could not overcome their slow start to the match.
Utah continues its spring schedule this Saturday as they travel to play BYU in Provo, Utah. Kickoff is slated for 1:00 p.m.