Sept. 3, 2012
This Week's Action
The University of Utah women's soccer team (3-1-1) has just one game this week, hosting the Texas Longhorns (2-4-0) Saturday at 12 p.m.
Utes Off to Best Start Since 2009
At 3-1-1 through its first five games, Utah is off to its best start since 2009. The Utes began that season with a 4-1 mark and achieved a national ranking of No. 21. Utah has posted three shutouts in five games this season, which also matches the 2009 squad's defensive efforts.
Utes Protecting Their Turf
Utah is unbeaten and has yet to concede a goal in two games at Ute Field this season. Over the last two seasons, Utah is 10-2 at home and has currently won three consecutive home matches and 10 of its last 11. Since dropping the 2011 home opener, Utah's only home loss came in overtime to No. 6 UCLA, 1-0.
Utah has outscored its opponents 5-0 at Ute Field this year. The Utes have now posted six shutouts at home over the last two seasons.
Utah Goes 1-0-1 on Season's First Road Stretch
The Utes posted a 2-2 draw at Colorado College last Thursday in their first road game of the season. Utah then took down Weber State on the road, 1-0, on Saturday. The U. has already matched its road-victory total from last season after going 1-7-1 in true road games in 2011. Utah's only road win last season came in a 2-0 shutout at Oregon to open Pac-12 Conference play.
Utah has allowed just three goals on the season for a team goals-against-average stands at just 0.57 with a .895 save percentage. All three of Utah's wins have come by way of a shutout, outscoring its opponents 6-0 in those three games. The Utes are more than halfway toward matching their shutout total of five in 2011.
Six Different Utes Find the Back of the Net in 2012
Utah has had six different players score goals this season: freshman forward Baylee Nielsen and sophomore midfielder Avery Ford have each scored twice, while junior defender Jenny Hutton, junior midfielder Harley Spier, sophomore forward Jill Robison and junior forward Allie Wisner have each scored once. Nielsen, Hutton and Wisner all scored their first career goals this season, while Ford, Robison and Wisner have each tallied game-winning goals. It was the second career game winner for Ford, while Robison and Wisner's goals were their first match-winning strikes.
Luke Posts First Solo Shutout
Redshirt freshman Lindsey Luke has been excellent in the Utah goal since replacing injured starter Cheyanne Mulcock in the BYU game. Luke got her first solo shutout in the 1-0 win at Weber State, making four saves to keep the clean sheet. She has racked up 17 saves in three games and allowed just two goals, both coming in a 2-2 draw on the road at Colorado College.
Luke is in playing her first year of collegiate soccer after redshirting as a freshman at Wake Forest in 2011.
Scouting this Weekend's Opposition
Texas is 2-4 on the season after dropping three of its last four games at home. Last week, Texas was blanked by Virginia, 3-0, then fell in overtime to New Mexico, 2-1, on Sunday. In its only other road game of the year, Texas lost at Arkansas, 1-0.
The Texas offense is led by Kristin Cummins, who has netted three goals and two assists for eight total points. Cummins, who tied for the team-lead with five goals in 2011, is the only Longhorn to score multiple times this season. Allison Smith, Sharis Lachappelle and Lindsey Meyer have each found the back of the net once, while Hannah Higgins has chipped in two assists.
Ava Vogel has played every minute in goal for Texas this season, making 16 saves but conceeding nine goals. Her GAA stands at 1.44 to go with a .640 save percentage.
Texas is coached by Angela Kelly, now in her first season with the Longhorns after spending 12 years as the head coach at Tennessee.
Saturday's game will mark the first meeting between Utah and Texas. The Utes are 8-5-0 all-time against Big-12 Conference opponents, including a perfect 4-0 mark at home.
Fans can listen to a live audio stream of all Utah women's soccer home games, with play-by-play from Gavin McCallister. The live stream can be accessed at http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/utah.portal#.
Nielsen Posts Best Game By A Ute Freshman Since 2007
With a pair of goals against Southern Utah on Aug. 23, Nielsen became the first true freshman at Utah to score multiple goals in a game since Lauren Hair scored twice vs. Utah Valley on Oct. 3, 2007. It was also the first time that any Ute logged a multiple-goal game since Erin Dalley netted two goals at TCU on Oct. 16, 2010. Nielsen also added an assist to total five points in the match, the most points in a single game by a Utah freshman since Hair did the same in the aforementioned match against Utah Valley. It was also the most points in a game by any Ute since Kelly Isleib tallied five against UVU on Aug. 21, 2009.
Upcoming TV Games...
The Utes will appear live on the Pac-12 Network six more times this year. Upcoming televised games include: Sept. 28 vs. Washington State, Oct. 5 vs. Stanford, Oct. 12 vs. Oregon, Oct. 19 at USC, Oct. 25 at Arizona State and Nov. 2 at Colorado.
In Salt Lake City, Pac-12 Networks is carried on Comcast. Pac-12 Mountain is ch. 37, the national Pac-12 Network is ch. 410 and Pac-12 Mountain HD is ch. 757.
Defending NCAA champion Stanford was the clear preseason favorite in the Pac-12 Preseason Coaches Poll, leading the voting with 120 points and receiving 10 out of 12 first-place votes. The rest of the field, in order: 2. UCLA (111); 3. California (93); 4. Oregon State (86); 5. Washington (75); 6. Arizona State (70); 7. USC (66); t8. Utah (49); t8. Washington State (49); 10. Oregon (36); 11. Colorado (25); 12. Arizona (12).
Get Your 2012 Utah Soccer Season Ticket Scarf!
Show your support for Utah Soccer all season long with your 2012 Utah Soccer Season Ticket Scarf! Get yours for just $20 by calling 801-581-UTIX or visit www.UtahUtes.com. Your scarf is your season ticket!