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Titans, Crimson Tide on the Docket for Women’s Soccer

Aug 30, 2022

SALT LAKE CITY – Off to their best start in eight years, the University of Utah women's soccer team will attempt to keep their early season momentum going during a week that includes two more home matches, first on Thursday at 7 p.m. against the Cal State Fullerton Titans and on Sunday in a 6 p.m. match with the Alabama Crimson Tide.
 

THURSDAY'S MATCHUP
Date | Time: Thursday, Sept. 1 | 7 p.m. (MT)
Utah (3-0-1) vs. Cal State Fullerton (1-1-2)
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah | Ute Field
Live Stats: Click Here
Live Stream: Click Here
Twitter Updates: @UtahWSoccer
SUNDAY'S MATCHUP
Date | Time: Sunday, Sept. 4 | 6 p.m. (MT)
Utah (3-0-1) vs. Alabama (3-1-0)
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah | Ute Field
Live Stats: Click Here
Live Stream: Pac 12 Network
Twitter Updates: @UtahWSoccer

 
Game Day Promotions
Thursday's contest will serve as Staff and Student Appreciation Night at Ute Field and we will be giving away camouflage Utah t-shirts while supplies last. There will also food trucks present outside the field.
 
On Sunday, the Utes will host their Mental Health Game and will be showing their support for the Katie's Save Foundation. Fans will be able to donate to the cause, which was proposed following the death of Stanford goalkeeper Katie Meyer. For more information on the Katie's Save Foundation, click here. Wristbands will be handed out to all those who donate. The teams will also observe 19 seconds of silence in Meyer's memory prior to kickoff.
 
Scouting Cal State Fullerton
The Titans started the season by suffering a narrow, 1-0 defeat to then-No. 3 BYU, but since then they've recorded ties with New Mexico State and Texas Tech sandwiched around a 2-1 triumph over UC Irvine. Graduate student Emelia Owen is responsible for half of her team's goal total so far in 2022, scoring against the Aggies and the Anteaters. Those two goals match Owen's career total from her first three seasons at Cal State Fullerton. The Titans are led by coach Demian Brown, who's in his 16th season guiding the program and is looking to bring his squad back to the NCAA Tournament for the seventh time. Their most recent trip came in 2019, when they won the Big West's regular season and tournament titles.
 
All Time Against Cal State Fullerton
The Utes and the Titans have battled to an even 2-2-3 mark in seven meetings, the first of which was a 4-0 win by Cal State Fullerton in 2005. Both of Utah's wins in the series have come in Fullerton.
 
Last Time Against Cal State Fullerton
Cal State Fullerton was the site the last time these programs crossed paths in 2017 and the result was 2-1 triumph by the Utes in overtime. Paola Van der Veen tallied both goals for Utah, erasing a 1-0 deficit with a score on a free kick in the 69th minute, followed by a 103rd minute golden goal to clinch the win.
 
Scouting Alabama
Sunday's tilt will be the second of three matches for the Crimson Tide in a road swing through Utah that begins with a matchup against BYU on Thursday and concludes when they face Utah Valley on Tuesday. Coach Wes Hart's squad is attempting to build on a 3-1 record that includes back-to-back victories at the expense of Southern Mississippi and No. 18 Clemson. In their three wins so far in 2022, UA has outscored the opposition 9-0. Graduate student Riley Mattingly Parker has been the team's leading scorer with three goals, two of them coming in her team's upset of the Tigers.
 
All Time Against Alabama
The Utes and the Crimson Tide have only seen each other once and that match occurred in Tuscaloosa in 2019. UA came out on top by a score of 3-0 despite Utah putting four shots on goal.
 
Goals Galore
The Utes have begun the 2022 campaign by scoring multiple goals in their first four games, the first time they've accomplished that feat to start a season in program history. It marks the first time the team has recorded four straight multi-goal games at any point in a season since 2013.
 
First Career Goals
Kyla Jennings became the squad's third player to net her first collegiate goal in Sunday's win over Illinois State. She joined a group that already included Brooklyn Blaylock and Madeline Vergura, who's since added her second score of the campaign in Thursday's defeat of Denver.

Regional Rankings
On Monday, the United Soccer Coaches Regional Rankings came out and the Utes jumped up four spots from eighth to fourth.
  
Winning at Home
The Utes are winning .589 percent of their home games since the 2016 season. Utah has won 29 home wins since 2016 and has not had a losing season at home. The Utes opened their home schedule on Sunday and defeated Colorado State, 3-0. Sunday was the first of 11 games at Ute Field. The Utes won eight home games during the 2016 season, the most during this span.
 
NCAA Appearances 
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.
 
Pac-12 Opener 
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 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.
 
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.
 
Preseason Pac-12 Coaches' Poll
On August 10th, the Pac-12 Conference announced the Coaches' Preseason Poll. The Cardinal of Stanford University was picked as the preseason favorite to win the league, while the Utes were picked to finish ninth.
 
Next Up
The Utes' season-opening stretch of six consecutive home matches concludes on Sunday, Sept. 11th, when they'll host the Utah State Aggies at 5 p.m. MT. 
 
FOLLOW THE UTES!
Fans can follow along on social media (Twitter: @UtahWSoccer | Instagram: @UtahWSoccer | Facebook: Facebook.com/Utahwsoccer).