Oct. 8, 2012
This Week's Action
The University of Utah women's soccer team (7-4-2, 2-3 Pac-12) looks to get back to its winning ways at home Friday against Oregon (6-6-2, 1-3-1 Pac-12). Friday's game will mark Utah's regular-season home finale, due to the scheduling anomaly that will send the Utes to five consecutive road games to finish the season.
Spier Strikes Again
With a goal against California on Sunday, junior midfielder Harley Spier has now scored in three of Utah's last four games. Known more for her defensive presence and heading ability, Spier has used hustle and work ethic to get herself into scoring positions and has taken advantage of her opportunities.
Spier scored the a game-tying header with less than two minutes to play against Washington State that forced overtime and set the Utes up for a dramatic victory at home on Sept. 28. She then scored an insurance goal against Washington Sept. 30, getting into perfect position to bury the rebound as the UW goalkeeper couldn't wrangle in a loose ball after making the original save. Her goal against Cal was a near carbon-copy as she put away a rebound following a save from a well-placed header by sophomore forward Ashton Hall.
Utes Listed at No. in Pacific Region
In Monday's NSCAA regional rankings, the Utes slid back just one spot to No. 6 in the Pacific Region. Oregon is currently tied for 10th in the region on the back of its 1-0 victory against USC and a 1-0 loss to UCLA.
Utah is 5-1-1 all-time against Oregon, including a perfect 3-0-0 record at Ute Field. Last year's match in Eugene, Ore., was an historic one as Utah captured a 2-0 shutout victory in its inaugural match as a member of the Pac-12 Conference. Spier scored the game-winning goal as she became the first Ute to tally a goal in the new league. Junior midfielder Leslie Muirhead also tacked on an insurance goal. The two teams have not met in Salt Lake City since 2007, when Utah won by a 2-0 margin.
Scouting this Weekend's Opposition
Oregon is coming off its first Pac-12 win of the season, a 1-0 overtime victory at home over USC. The Ducks pulled to .500 overall (6-6-2) with the win.
Kristen Parr has provided most of the offense for the Ducks this season, scoring seven goals. Scout Libke is the only other Duck to score multiple goals with two, and leads the team with three assists. Four other players have scored once.
Defensively, Abby Steele has played the majority of time in net, making 43 saves and allowing 12 goals. Her goals-against-average stands at 0.92 to go with a .782 save percentage. Steele has five shutouts on the year.
Oregon is coached by Tara Erickson, now in her eighth season. She owns 68-67-18 record at the Oregon helm.
Utes Home Win Streak Snapped at Six
Utah saw its six-match win streak snapped by No. 2 Stanford by a 1-0 score on Friday. The Utes then fell to California on Sunday, 3-1, as they allowed more than two goals for the first time all season. Utah is now 13-4 at home over the last two seasons, with two of those losses coming to teams ranked in the top 10 nationally (No. 6 UCLA in 2011, No. 2 Stanford in 2012).
2012 Goal Tracker: Nine Different Utes Find the Back of the Net
Utah has had nine different players score goals this season: Spier (4), sophomore forward Katie Taylor (3), sophomore midfielder Avery Ford (2), sophomore forward Jill Robison (2), and freshman forward Baylee Nielsen (2), have each scored multiple goals. Junior defender Jenny Hutton, junior forward Allie Wisner, Hall and freshman defender Megan Trabert have each scored once. Hall, Nielsen, Hutton, Trabert and Wisner all scored their first career goals this season, while Robison (2), Taylor (2), Ford, Trabert and Wisner have each tallied game-winning goals.
Listen Live to All Utah Home Games!
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#.
Utah to Appear in Four Upcoming Live Televised Games
The Utes are 3-1 in televised games in 2012 and will appear live on the Pac-12 Network four more times this season. Upcoming televised games include: 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!
It's not too late to get your 2012 Utah Soccer Scarf! Get yours for just $20 by calling 801-581-UTIX or visit www.UtahUtes.com. Your scarf is your season ticket!