Late Goal by Cal State Fullerton Sinks Women’s Soccer
SALT LAKE CITY – Goalkeeper Evie Vitali made four saves and the University of Utah women's soccer team fired off 16 shots, but it was a 90th minute goal by Cal State Fullerton's Madison Kline that sent the Titans past the Utes by a score of 1-0 on Thursday evening at Ute Field.
This first loss of the season drops Utah to 3-1-1, while Cal State Fullerton improves to 2-1-2.
"Obviously, we're very disappointed with tonight's result," said coach Hideki Nakada. "Having more possession and shots can only mean so much if we don't put away chances. It's tough to swallow giving up a winning goal in the 90th minute but we have nobody to blame but ourselves. We will learn from it and regroup to get ready for an excellent Alabama team this Sunday."
For the Utes, they matched their second-highest shot total of the season, while putting six attempts on frame and limiting the Titans to five on-target efforts. Luisa Delgado led all players with five shots, followed by Katie O'Kane and Taliana Kaufusi, who each took three.
The Titans started the match by immediately going on the offensive, but a shot in the opening moments was saved by Vitali and kept the game scoreless. The Utes seized the offensive initiative soon after and piled up nine shots over the final half-hour of the opening period, but four saves by Mia Ranson kept the score frozen at 0-0 into halftime.
Both keepers were tested again early in the second half, with Vitali making her second save in the 47th minute, only for Ranson to make a stop of her own at the 48:45 mark. Utah sent in three more volleys in a six-minute span following Ranson's fifth save, but none of them found the mark.
Over the final 10 minutes, Vitali kept her team in the game by denying two more chances, but the Titans were eventually able to find the winner. With less than a minute to go, passes from Malina Yago and Jaden Hall led Kline into the box and her shot sailed into the net for the match's only goal. With only 32 seconds remaining, the Utes were unable to find an equalizer.
Another home match awaits for the Utes on Sunday, when they'll host the Alabama Crimson Tide in a non-conference match at 6 p.m. MT.