Women’s Soccer Preparing for Visit from Utah State
SALT LAKE CITY – After seeing their three-match win streak snapped, the University of Utah women's soccer team will attempt to regain their early season momentum when they tangle with the Utah State Aggies in a Sunday evening match scheduled to begin at 5 p.m at Ute Field.
Date | Time: Sunday, Sept. 11 | 5 p.m. (MT)
Utah (3-1-2) vs. Utah State (2-1-3)
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah | Ute Field
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Live Stream: Click Here
Twitter Updates: @UtahWSoccer
Game Day Promotions
It will be All Out Utah Day on Sunday and all those in attendance are encouraged to wear red. Fans can pick up a free red t-shirt at the gate while supplies last and the JDawgs Food Truck will be present as well.
Scouting Utah State
The Aggies are coming off their first loss of the year, which they suffered on Thursday at the hands of Texas. Prior to that, USU had recorded two wins and three ties through their first five matches, including victories over Idaho State and Illinois State. Their 5-0 triumph over the Bengals matched the largest margin of victory in program history. Four different Aggies have scored multiple goals so far in 2022, including junior London Miller, who tallied her team's lone score in their loss to the Longhorns. Midfielder Alex Day is the only player on the squad with multiple assists.
All Time Against Utah State
Sunday's matchup will be the 24th time these program's have locked horns and the eighth time in the last nine seasons. The Utes own an 18-5 advantage in the all-time series and have take five-in-a-row from their intrastate rivals. Prior to that run of success for Utah, USU had split the previous six meetings, including a 2-0 victory in 2015 that marked the program's first-ever win at Ute Field.
Last Time Against Utah State
In 2021, the Utes traveled to Logan, Utah for a road matchup with the Aggies and came away with a 2-1 triumph. After a scoreless first half, Taliana Kaufusi got the visitors on the board in the 50th minute, only for Ashley Cardozo to draw USU level 116 seconds later. It wasn't until the 83rd minute that Utah found the winning goal, courtesy of Courtney Brown.
Taliana Tallies Another One
It has taken Taliana Kaufusi just six matches to get within one goal of matching her scoring total from 2021 and her most recent goal came in the third minute of the Utes' Sunday tie with Alabama. Kaufusi is the first Ute to log three goals in the team's first six games since Paola van der Veen accomplished that feat in 2018.
Defense On Point
The Utes have now gone five straight matches without allowing multiple goals. That's the team's longest stretch without giving up more than one score since they went six consecutive games permitting one goal or less in 2017.
First Career Goals
Kyla Jennings became the squad's third player to net her first collegiate goal in an August 28 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 an Aug. 25 defeat of Denver.
The most recent United Soccer Coaches Regional Poll put the Utes in seventh one week after they moved up to fourth. The Aggies own the No. 10 spot.
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.
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 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 August 8th 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.
The Utes' next challenge will be a road test in Provo, Utah against No. 13 BYU on Sept. 17 and the start time is set for 7 p.m MT.
FOLLOW THE UTES!
Fans can follow along on social media (Twitter: @UtahWSoccer | Instagram: @UtahWSoccer | Facebook: Facebook.com/Utahwsoccer).