Utah will host two night games this week at Ute Field.
Oct. 4, 2005
Utah (7-5) opens its Mountain West Conference schedule and a four-game home stand with a pair of night games. The Utes host TCU (5-4-0) on Thursday and New Mexico (3-3-3) on Saturday at Ute Field. Both games kick-off at 7:00 p.m.
Live Game Audio, Live Stats
Fans can follow all Ute home games and select road games this season on UtahUtes.com. Live audio broadcasts are available through Utah All-Access, a premium multi-media package that can be purchased on the web site. Live stats are also available free of charge via College Sports Gametracker.
The Horned Frogs are 5-4-0 after winning two home games last weekend. TCU defeated Sam Houston State 4-0 on Friday and Boise State 1-0 in overtime on Sunday. The Horned Frogs are 1-1 on the road this season. Bjarnveig Birgisdottir (F, 5-4, So.) leads TCU with four goals and also has an assist. Moran Lavi (M, 5-4, Sr.) has three goals and two assists. Katy Buchanan (GK, 5-8, Jr.) has a 1.17 goals against average and 44 saves in nine games this season. Head coach Dan Abdalla is in his first year at TCU, coming from UNLV. He has a 59-42-8 career record in six years. Utah is 0-1-0 all-time against TCU. The Horned Frogs won the only previous meeting 2-1 on Nov. 2, 1997 in Fort Worth, Texas.
Scouting New Mexico
The Lobos are 3-3-3 and took last week off. They split two games the previous weekend, losing at Nevada 2-0 on Sept. 23 and defeating Idaho 1-0 at home on Sept. 25. Kristine Sweat (F, 5-8, Jr.) leads UNM with three goals. Kaela Kelly (M, 5-2, Jr.) has a team-best three assists and one goal. Kristen Winters (GK, 5-8, Sr.) has a 0.62 goals against average and 22 saves in nine games. Head coach Kit Vela has a 27-47-10 career record in five seasons at New Mexico.
Utah is 6-3-1 all-time against New Mexico and 4-0-0 in games played at Ute Field. Last season, the Utes defeated the Lobos 2-1 on Oct. 21 in Albuquerque, N.M.
Utah dropped a pair of games on the road to close out its nonconference schedule. The Utes fell 1-0 at No. 10 Pepperdine on Friday afternoon. Goalkeeper Ashley Mason made four saves but allowed a goal in the 28th minute that proved to be the difference in the game. Utah had a 7-5 advantage in shots on goal and the only corner kick in the game. Kim Lloyd, one of eight California natives on the Ute roster, had a chance to tie the game inside of 10 minutes when her shot went off the post. Adele Letro had four shots on goal for the Utes, while Amanda Feigt had one.
Utah was shutout for the third straight game in a 1-0 loss at Loyola Marymount on Sunday afternoon. The Utes had a 9-5 advantage in shots against LMU and forced keeper Joslyn Slovek to make four saves. The Lions converted their only shot on goal in the 24th minute. Feigt, Letro, Chelsea Card and Paola Marsenaro had shots on goal in the first half but failed to convert.
Head Coach Rich Manning
Rich Manning is 49-17-8 in his fourth year at Utah. Last season he guided Utah to its third straight NCAA Tournament appearance, its second consecutive MWC Tournament title and a 13-6-3 overall record. In 2003, Manning was named the 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 the state of the team: "Mountain West Conference play is finally starting and we are very excited to get after it. The preseason has prepared us well. We have faced several strong opponents that have tested us. We have improved dramatically since the first few weeks of the season. I'm very pleased with our defensive intensity and our competitive spirit. Ashley Mason has been a rock in goal and I expect her to lead a defense that will be tough to score on. Our attacking game has come around as well. We have created some wonderful chances for ourselves that we have not capitalized on. However, I know that we'll come around in that department."
On this week's opponents: "TCU is a bit of an unknown to us. However, their coach, Dan Abdalla, is very familiar with us from his days at UNLV. I'm sure Thursday night's game will be action-packed. New Mexico has a terrific defense, led by goalkeeper Kristen Winters. I'm sure that will be a tight one as well."
Freshman forward Jen Christoffers tore the ACL in her right knee against California on Sept. 25 and is out for the season.
Junior defender Tasia Duarte has a hairline fracture on a bone in her knee and is day-to-day.
MWC Statistical Rankings
In the team statistics as of Oct. 3, Utah ranks second in shots (14.75 per game), tied for second in points (4.17 per game), fifth in goals per game (1.42), tied for second in assists per game (1.33), third in goals against average (0.81), second in saves (4.75 per game), tied for third in shutouts (5), fifth in fouls (11.00 per game), and seventh in corner kicks (2.33 per game).
In the individual rankings as of Oct. 3, Adele Letro ranks third in shots per game (3.33), sixth in points per game (1.00), tied for fifth in goals per game (0.42) and tied for third in game-winning goals (2) ... Melissa Wayman is tied for seventh in assists per game (0.25) ... Ashley Mason is second in saves per game (4.67), tied for second in shutouts (4), and third in goals against average (0.83).
The Utes won their first six games for the best start in school history before losing five of their last six. Utah has been held scoreless in all five of its losses.
Utah has a 177-116 advantage in shots and a 76-67 edge in shot on goal over its opposition this season. The Utes also have a 1.38-0.81 advantage in goals scored per game. However, Utah has been shutout in five of its last six games. It's only win during that stretch was a 3-0 win at Utah State on Sept. 22.
Utah has faced three of the four 2004 NCAA Tournament teams on its schedule, going 0-3 in those games. The Utes lost at Arizona (1-0 OT) on Sept. 16, to California at home (1-0 2OT) on Sept. 25 and at Pepperdine (1-0) on Sept. 30. Utah faces UNLV in Las Vegas, Nev., on Oct. 22.
Utah is 5-5 against NSCAA/adidas Top 25 teams in four seasons under Rich Manning. In the Utes' three games against a ranked teams this season, Utah lost at No. 22 Arizona (1-0 OT) on Sept. 16, fell to No. 9 California (1-0 2OT) at home on Sept. 25 and lost at No. 10 Pepperdine (1-0) on Sept. 30. In 2004, the Utes won at No. 7 UCLA (2-1) on Oct. 1. Utah was 2-1 against NSCAA/adidas Top 25 teams in both 2002 and `03.
Utah is 0-2 in overtime games this season.
Against Cal State Fullerton on Sept. 18, Utah gave up four goals for the first time since Florida scored five on Aug. 31, 2001.
Other than giving up four goals to Cal State Fullerton on Sept. 25, goalkeeper Ashley Mason had allowed just six goals in the other 11 games. Mason has made 56 saves with a 0.848 goals against average in 12 games this season.
Utah scored a season-high four goals against Idaho on Sept. 4. The Utes have also scored three goals in three other games.
Utah is 4-1 at home this season. The U. had its first night game ever at Ute Field against Purdue on Sept. 9, drawing a season-best crowd of 1,141. Utah will have three other home night games this season.
Soccer Buzz magazine rated the Utes' 2005 recruiting class as the 37th-best in the nation. This is the third consecutive year Utah's recruiting class has been rated in the top 50 in the nation. Soccer Buzz magazine has also named signees Lynzee Lee (GK, Kalispell, Mont.) and Katy Reineke (M, Salt Lake City) to its list of Top 100 high school recruits in the nation. Lee and Reineke, along with Jen Christoffers (F, Phoenix, Ariz.), have experience on the West Region Olympic Development Program team.
Utah Picked To Win Mountain West
Utah received seven first-place votes and was selected to win the 2005 Mountain West Conference women's soccer regular-season championship in the preseason poll of the league's coaches.
The Utes collected a total of 49 points to capture the top spot in the poll. San Diego State, which fell to the Utes in the MWC Soccer Championship final last year, and BYU tied for second place in the poll with 39 points. Last year's regular-season champion UNLV was picked fourth (31 points), while newcomer TCU was fifth (21 points). Wyoming was sixth (18 points), followed by New Mexico (16 points) and Air Force (11 points).
Utah plays its final home games of the season next weekend. The Utes host Wyoming on Thursday, Oct. 13 at 7:00 p.m. and Air Force on Saturday, Oct. 15 at 1:00 p.m.