Utah Soccer Faces Idaho State in an Exhibition Match
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah women's soccer team will begin the 2022 season on Wednesday as second-year head coach Hideki Nakada and the Utes host Idaho State in an exhibition contest at Ute Field. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. MT, and the contest is free to the public.
Date | Time: Wednesday, August 8 | 7 p.m. (MT)
Utah (0-0-0) vs. Idaho State (0-0-0) (Exhibition Match)
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah | Ute Field
Live Stats: Click Here
Twitter Updates: @UtahWSoccer
ABOUT THE MATCH
The Utes and Bengals exhibition match will consist of three 30-minute halves.
The 2022 Utes will have a different look than last year. Utah will have 13 newcomers on the team, seven freshmen, and six transfers. True freshmen joining the Utes this season are Taylor Prigge, Brooklyn Blaylock, Kelly Bullock, Brooke Ahern, Ryann Cull, Kaela Standish, and Kyla Jennings. Utah added experienced transfers to this roster, including two Pac-12 transfers. Luisa Delgado and Jade Gosar join the Utes from Notre Dame, while Brooke Hale comes to the Utes from BYU. The Utes added Katie O'Kane (Washington) and Madeline Vergura (USC) to this year's squad. The last transfer is Evie Vitali, who comes to Utah from Oklahoma State.
2022 Season Tickets
Season tickets for the 2022 season are now available. Call the Utah ticket office at 801-581-UTIX or visit www.utahtickets.com. Season tickets are $25, and you have an add-in option for the 2022 soccer team scarf for $10. The total season ticket package is on sale for $35.
Want to see the Utes play this season? Utah will play 12 matches at Ute Field this season. The first chance is Aug. 10 against Idaho State in an exhibition contest. The home opener is set for Sunday, Aug. 21, when they host Colorado State. Aug. 21 is the start of a six-match homestand. For the full schedule, click here.
Scouting Idaho State
After finishing the 2021 season with a 2-16-1 record, the Bengals made a coaching change and hired Dustin Downey as their new head coach. Downey comes to Idaho State with extensive coaching experience at the high school, club, ODP, and NCAA Division I levels. He most recently has been the head coach of the Chicago FC United team, and he spent two years at Illinois-Chicago. From 2019-20 he was an assistant coach for the Flames. In 2019, the staff was named the Horizon League Coaching Staff of the Year as it broke records for home, road, and conference wins. He served as Interim Head Coach in the 2021 season, taking the Flames to their best start in program history and finishing 5-3-1 for the abbreviated Covid season.
Last season, Idaho State scored 12 goals while allowing 54 goals. Gabby Warta led the team with six goals and as well as having a team-high 12 points. Warta returns for her sophomore season. Deborah Pond was second on the team with three goals and returns for her sophomore year with the Bengals. Idaho State played three players in goal last season, and only one returns one, Kylee Atkins, who played in six games last year for 292 minutes. She tallied 15 saves.
Last Time Against Idaho State
Utah and Idaho State have met six times on the pitch since the Utes started soccer in 1996. The last time they met was during the 2011 season when Utah earned a 3-1 victory. This was the final non-conference match of the season. Leslie Muirhead scored the game-winning goal for the Utes.
Regular Season Opener
Utah's regular season will start on Thursday, Aug. 18, when they travel to Portland, Ore., to face the Pilots of the University of Portland. The Utes and Pilots met last season at Ute Field, and Utah came away with a 3-1 victory for the first win under head coach Nakada. The kickoff from Merlo Field will be 8 p.m. MT.
New Name, Same Face
Returning to the team this year is Courtney Talbot. However, this year she will be Courtney Brown. Last season, Brown led the team in goals (5) and points (11). Her five goals were a career-high. She has eight career goals. Last year her five goals came in five different games. Her biggest goal of the season came when she scored to earn a draw against No. 3 UCLA.
Winning at Home
The Utes are winning .589 percent of their home games since the 2016 season. Utah enters the 2022 season with 28 home wins since 2016, has not had a losing season at home. Utah will look to continue their winning ways at home this season when they host 11 games at Ute Field during the regular season. The Utes won eight home games during the 2016 season, the most during this span.
Entering the 2022 season, the Utes will look for their ninth appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Utes last went to the NCAA Tournament during the 2019 season. Utah's best finish in the NCAA Tournament was 2016, when they reached the Sweet 16.
Utah will play eight non-conference matchups before they get into conference play. Utah will open conference play on Friday, Sept. 23, when they host Arizona at Ute Field. Utah will finish the season with 11 conference games. The Utes close out Pac-12 play on Friday, Nov. 4, at Colorado.
New Year, New Staff
The 2022 Utes will have a new look this season as they have a new member on their staff. Head coach Hideki Nakada announced on Monday the hiring of Nuno Gourgel as the new volunteer assistant coach. Gourgel comes to Utah after spending the last year at Utah Valley University. Before Utah Valley, Gourgel was an assistant coach with Robert Morris University's women's soccer program. Gourgel's coaching credentials include four seasons as the men's and women's head coach at Snow College in Ephraim, Utah. He started both programs and won 108 games combined during his four seasons, including a 59-7-11 (.837) record with the women.
Utah opens the 2022 regular season on Thursday, Aug. 18, when they travel to Portland, Ore., to face the Pilots of the University of Portland. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. MT from Merlo Field.
FOLLOW THE UTES!
Fans can follow along on social media (Twitter: @UtahWSoccer | Instagram: @UtahWSoccer | Facebook: Facebook.com/Utahwsoccer).