Rich Manning's Utes take on two 2003 NCAA Tournament teams this weekend.
Sept. 7, 2004
The Utes (2-1-1) head to Winston-Salem, N.C., for the Wake Forest adidas Classic. Utah faces Denver (2-2-0) on Friday at 5:00 p.m. (EDT) and Colorado (2-1-1) on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. (EDT).
The Pioneers are 2-2-0 after losing to Eastern Michigan (1-0) last Thursday and defeating San Diego (3-0) last Saturday on their home field in the Denver Soccer Classic. Sophomore Lleane Grimditch has a goal and an assist. Senior Maggie Kirchhoff has scored two goals. Sophomore goalkeeper Danielle Wiley has allowed three goals and made 23 saves in four games. Jeff Hooker is 152-60-20 in his 13th season at Denver, where he has spent his entire career as a head coach. Denver returns eight starters from last year's team that went 18-4-0, won the Sun Belt Conference title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Utah and Denver will meet for the first time on Friday.
The Buffaloes are 2-1-1 after losing to San Diego (2-1 in OT) last Thursday and defeating Eastern Michigan (4-0) last Saturday in the University of Denver's Soccer Classic. Junior Ashlie Mihalcin has two goals and an assist. Junior Fran Munnelly has scored two goals. Junior goalkeeper Jessica Keller has allowed two goals and made nine saves in four games this season. Bill Hempen is 30-24-6 in his fourth season at Colorado and has a 192-124-22 record in 17 years as a head coach. Colorado returns 10 starters from last year's team that went 15-4-1, won the Big XII Conference and lost to BYU in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Salt Lake City. Utah has a 1-1-0 all-time record against Colorado, but the two teams have never met on a neutral field.
The Utes tied San Francisco 1-1 and defeated Oregon 2-0 in the first-ever Utah Fall Classic last weekend at Ute Field.
After a scoreless first half against San Francisco on a wet and chilly Friday afternoon, Utah struck first 51:55 in on a header from five yards out by Tracy Stratton Garner. Kim Lloyd was credited with the assist after playing the ball in. Then, just when it appeared Ute goalkeeper Glennis Donnelly was going to get her first career win, Annika Schmidt scored a goal off of a deflection from 15 yards out with 2:18 remaining in regulation.
The Utes outshot the Dons 18-8 and had a 10-2 advantage in corner kicks. Sophomore Amanda Feigt led the Utes with six shots, while Lloyd placed two of her three shots on goal.
Feigt and senior Erin Pruitt both scored their first goals of the season in the second half to give the Utes the win over Oregon on Sunday. Donnelly, playing for the second consecutive game at keeper, made two saves.
Utah had a couple of scoring opportunities late in the first half and continued pressuring Oregon early in the second half. Lloyd possessed the ball nicely as Utah set up for its first goal of the game at the 66:29 mark. Whitney Dorsey sent the ball to Feigt on the right side for a one-on-one opportunity against Oregon keeper Domenique Lainez. Feigt slotted it through the lower left side of the net for the score. The Utes continued working and got their second goal in the 82nd minute. Lauren Field sent a great cross in front of the goal to Pruitt, who headed it into the upper right corner. Pruitt had four shots in the game, including three on goal. Julie Herdic also fired four shots for the Utes. Utah outshot Oregon 22-5, including a 13-3 advantage in the second half, and forced Lainez to make eight saves. The Utes also had five corner kicks to none for the Ducks.
Head Coach Rich Manning
Rich Manning is 31-7-6 in his third season at Utah. Last season, Manning was named the 2003 West Region Coach of the Year by the NSCAA/adidas and Soccer Buzz. The Utes went 16-2-2, won the MWC regular-season (6-0-0) and tournament titles, and went to the NCAA Tournament. In 2002, Manning led Utah to a 13-4-3 mark, including a 4-1-1 record in Mountain West play, and the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Before joining the Utah program, Manning was an assistant and associate head coach at Santa Clara (1998-2001).
On playing in the Wake Forest adidas Classic - "We are heading into a big time soccer environment this week. Wake Forest, Denver and Colorado were all in the NCAA Tournament last season and are strong again this year. The stadium and atmosphere at Wake are outstanding. The games will give us a chance to see how we match up against teams from outside of the West Region. Denver (Sun Belt) and Colorado (Big XII) each won their conference championship last season and will provide great competition. We will also get to test our road mentality to see if we have improved in that area since our last trip to Stanford."
MWC Statistical Rankings
In the team statistics, Utah ranks third in shots (62), fourth in points (16), tied for fourth in goals per game (1.25), tied for third in assists per game (1.50), fifth in goals against average (1.18), seventh in saves (9), second in fouls (57), first in corners (30).
In the individual rankings, Chelsea Card is eighth in goals per game (0.33) ... Glennis Donnelly is tied for fourth in saves per game (3.00), tied for third in shutouts (1), first in goals against average (0.45) ... Whitney Dorsey is tied for 10th in assists per game (0.25) ... Tasia Duarte is tied for 10th in assists per game (0.25) ... Amanda Feigt is tied for sixth in shots per game (2.50), tied for 10th in points per game (0.75), tied for ninth in goals per game (0.25), tied for 10th in assists per game (0.25) ... Lauren Field is tied for third in assists per game (0.50) ... Tracy Stratton Garner is tied for ninth in goals per game (0.25) ... Kim Lloyd is tied for 10th in points per game (0.75), tied for ninth in goals per game (0.25), tied for 10th in assists per game (0.25) ... Erin Pruitt is tied for ninth in goals per game (0.25).
Starting sophomore goalkeeper Ashley Mason, who led the NCAA goals per game last season, did not play in either game last weekend due to a hip flexor. Starting in her place was Glennis Donnelly, who joined the team this year as a fifth-year senior after playing with the Ute softball team the past two seasons. While playing in the first two Division I games of her career, Donnelly allowed only one goal and made six saves. Donnelly has a 0.45 goals-against average and a .857 saves percentage this season. Donnelly was a NJCAA All-American goalkeeper at Meramec Community College before transferring to Utah.
Utah has given up five goals this season after allowing only nine last year to rank second in the nation in goals-against average (.436) and fifth in shutout percentage (.650).
Utah tightened up its defense this past weekend. After allowing three goals against Stanford and one against Gonzaga, Utah allowed only one goal to tie San Francisco (1-1) and shutout Oregon (2-0). Utah allowed only 13 shots and two corner kicks in the two games combined.
The Utes have had balanced scoring this season with five players accounting for one goal apiece.
Utah has outshot its opponents this season 62-25 and has a 30-9 advantage in corner kicks.
Listen To Ute Home Games On The Web
Utah's home games will be broadcast live on the internet at www.UtahUtes.com. The broadcasts can be accessed by going to the women's soccer page and clicking on the "Ute Soccer Broadcasts" icon.
Utes First In MWC Preseason Poll
Utah was selected to repeat as the Mountain West Conference champion in a vote by the league's coaches. The Utes collected a total of 35 points and five first-place votes to capture the top position in the poll. BYU, which collected two first-place votes (32 total points), was picked to finish second in the ballot, followed by San Diego State (25), UNLV (21) and Wyoming (14). New Mexico (11) and Air Force (9) rounded out the voting as they were picked to finish sixth and seventh, respectively.
The Utes return to Salt Lake City to open a three-game homestand against Boise State on Sunday, Sept. 19 at 1:00 p.m. at Ute Field. Utah also hosts Washington State on Thursday, Sept. 23 at 3:30 p.m. and Utah State on Sunday, Sept. 26 at 1:00 p.m.