Katie Taylor and the Utes play in the College Cup on Friday
Nov. 13, 2013
SALT LAKE CITY - Utah soccer will travel to No. 13 Texas A&M for the first round of the 2013 NCAA Division I Women's College Cup. Kick-off is scheduled for Friday at 6 p.m. MT
The Utes, making their sixth appearance in the tournament but first since 2006, were one of six teams from the Pac-12 to earn a berth. Utah placed third in the conference this season, its highest finish since joining in 2011.
Utah Soccer Places Four on Pac-12 Postseason Awards List
Utah soccer saw four players honored by the Pac-12 Conference for their play this season. Senior Jenny Hutton and redshirt sophomore Lindsey Luke were named second team all-conference, junior Ashton Hall was an honorable mention selection and midfielder Katie Rigby was named to the all-freshman team.
This was Hutton's first Pac-12 award as the defender has been a steadying influence for the Ute defense. She started every game for Utah, moving between the center back and outside back positions and was also an offensive threat, finishing second on the team with four assists.
Luke racked up a few accolades already this season with two Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week awards to her credit. After earning a spot on the all-freshman team last year, Luke set the Utah single-season shutout mark this year with nine blankings. She currently has a goals-against average of 0.57, 19th in the nation and her save percentage (.894) ranks fifth nationally.
Rigby missed almost all of last season due to injury but battled back and played in every contest for the Utes in 2013. The defensive-minded Rigby notched her first collegiate goal in dramatic fashion by scoring the game-winner against Oregon.
The four postseason honorees were the most for Utah since 2003 when it was still a member of the Mountain West Conference. The Utes notched their best finish since joining the Pac-12 this season, placing third and earning their sixth NCAA Tournament bid in the process.
Utah Postseason History
In 2002, head coach Rich Manning's first year at the helm, Utah made its inaugural appearance in the NCAA Tournament. In their opening game, the Utes not only captured their first tournament win, but also captured the first victory over BYU in team history. Utah took an overtime thriller, 3-2, on the Cougars' home field in Provo, Utah.
The Utes advanced through the first round for the second time in 2006, on the back of a 3-2 overtime victory against Idaho State. In both second-round appearances, the Utes' fell to Portland University.
The 2002 NCAA tournament appearance began a streak of five consecutive tournament berths for the Utes as they reached postseason play every year from 2002 to 2006. Utah also hosted first and second round action at Ute Field three times, in 2003, 2005 and 2006.
Utah Finishes Unblemished at Home
Utah currently owns an 12-match unbeaten streak at Ute Field which started last season with a 3-1 victory over Oregon. Since then, Utah is 8-0-4 while out-scoring its opponents 25-8 and posting six shutouts. Since joining the Pac-12, Utah is 21-4-4 at home.
Utes Ranked No. 29 Nationally
Utah is currently receiving votes in the latest NSCAA National Poll, ranking 29th overall. The last time Utah was ranked in the final NSCAA Poll was in 2006 when the Utes finished 23rd in the country. Utah was ranked No. 25 in the Soccer America National Poll during the week of October 29.
In Tuesday's NSCAA regional rankings, the Utes were pegged at No. 4 in the Pacific Region, their highest mark of the season. Utah ranks 40th in the latest RPI, sixth among Pac-12 schools.
11 Different Utes Find the Net
Utah has had 12 different players score goals this season: Katie Taylor and Allie Wisner are tied for the team lead with five, Taylor Slattery has four, Baylee Nielsen, Megan Trabert and Ashton Hall are tied with three goals apiece, Avery Ford has bagged a pair and Ali Forsberg, Jenny Hutton, Katie Rigby, Jill Robison and Kaycee Buckley have all tallied once.
Slattery has three game-winners while Wisner and Taylor have two for the Utes. Nielsen, Wisner and Robison and Rigby have also tallied deciders this season.
Utah Individual Rankings
Katie Taylor currently leads the Utes with 13 points for the season. The junior is tied with Allie Wisner for the team lead in goals with five apiece and also tied for third on the team in assists. Junior Ashton Hall leads the team with five assists.
In league play, Taylor Slattery and Megan Trabert finished tied for the team lead in scoring with three goals apiece. Hall (1G, 3A) ended with five points while Allie Wisner (2G) and Taylor (1G, 2A) tallied four points apiece.
Trabert's two goals against Washington State marked the first multi-goal game for a Utah player since the team joined the Pac-12 (Erin Dailey, TCU, 2010).
Texas A&M Aggies
Texas A&M received an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship, keeping their streak alive at 19 consecutive years. The Aggies are one of five teams to make it to every NCAA Tournament since 1995. The Aggies are 17-4-1 on the season and enter the NCAA Championship as SEC regular-season co-champion and SEC Tournament champion.
Texas A&M has won 12 of its last 13 contests and boast five All-SEC performers, including first-teamers Shea Groom and Meghan Streight and second-teamers Jordan Day, Leigh Edwards and Kelley Monogue, as well as SEC All-Freshman Team and SEC Tournament Most Valuable Player Liz Keester.
Utes vs. Texas A&M
Utah is 0-3 all-time against the Aggies. The squads first met in College Station in 1997 with the Aggies posting a 4-0 win. The Maroon and White were victorious in Salt Lake City in 1999, 2-1, and blanked the Utes in College Station in 2003, 1-0.
Utah vs. the SEC
Utah is 4-7-1 all-time against opponents from the SEC. The Utes played to a scoreless draw at Kentucky during the first week of the season and will be looking for their first win against a SEC foe since 2003.
Texas A&M and the Utes have one common opponent from this season in Arizona State. The Aggies topped ASU back in August at Ellis Field, 3-1. The Utes dropped a 2-1 double-overtime contest to the Sun Devils two weeks ago in Tempe.