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Despite Overcoming Early Deficit, Women’s Soccer Falls to Washington

Sep 29, 2022

SEATTLE – The University of Utah women's soccer team erased an early 2-0 deficit, but a late goal allowed the Washington Huskies to hold off the Utes and win 3-2 on Thursday night in Pac-12 action on at Husky Soccer Stadium.
The Utes are now an even 1-1 in conference play and 5-3-2 overall, while the Huskies improve to 1-1 in league fixtures and 7-1-2 on the year.

"It's painful to give away a game the way we did tonight," said coach Hideki Nakada. "I'm gutted for our players and this result is tough considering I felt we controlled a significant amount of the run of play. However, when you start and finish the way we did, it's hard to win any games, so we simply have to be better in those moments. We'll look forward to another great challenge on Sunday at Washington State."
Utah ended the night with an 8-7 edge in shots, though Washington was credited with a 5-4 edge in shots on goal. Taliana Kaufusi and Madeline Vergura did the scoring for the visitors, with Kaufusi tallying her sixth goal of the year and Vergura making her third appearance on the scoresheet. Kaufusi already has more goals in a season than any Ute player since 2018 and she's now scored in four of her team's last five matches.
Courtney Brown, Kelly Bullock and Maryn Granger all contributed assists. Brown and Bullock now have two assists so far in 2022, while Granger has contributed points in back-to-back games.
This contest was only scoreless for a short time before McKenzie Weinert led Summer Yates into the box with a pass that Yates converted into a goal for a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute. Less than 10 minutes later, a Karlee Stueckle cross was headed by Weinert to the feet of Yates and the senior hit the back of the net again to double the home team's advantage.
The Utes found an answer in the 27th minute, when an excellent lead pass from Brown sent Kaufusi into the box and junior striker chipped the ball over the keeper for her sixth goal of the year to make the score 2-1. Kaufusi now has 12 points on the season, the most on the roster.
Utah had an excellent chance to tie the score in the opening period thanks to a cross by Katie O'Kane that was headed on frame by Kelly Bullock, but Olivia Sekany's save kept Washington in front into halftime.
For nearly 40 minutes in the second half, the Utes searched for the equalizer and they finally found it in the 85th minute. Vergura took a pass from Bullock and lofted a shot from just outside the right corner of the box into the top left corner of the net to beat Sekany and level the score. Vergura trails only Kaufusi in points among Utah's players with eight and she's also contributed in consecutive matches, having picked up an assist against Arizona on Friday.
Unfortunately for the Utes, the tie wouldn't hold. Utah conceded a free kick in the 87th minute and Shae Holmes found the back of the net for deciding score. Washington kept their guests off the scoreboard over the final few minutes to earn the win.
Next Up
The next stop on Utah's road trip is Pullman, Wash., where they'll square off against the No. 15 Washington State Cougars on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Fans can follow along on social media (Twitter: @UtahWSoccer | Instagram: @UtahWSoccer | Facebook: