Women’s Soccer Suffers 1-0 Defeat to Washington State
PULLMAN, Wash. – The University of Utah women's soccer team sent in 12 total shots, including five shots on goal, but couldn't find the score they needed to overcome an early deficit and were handed a 1-0 loss by the No. 15 Washington State Cougars on Sunday afternoon at Lower Soccer Field.
The Utes record in conference play is now 1-2 and they are 5-4-2 on the season. The Cougars improve to 2-0-1 in the Pac-12 and 8-1-2 overall.
"Another tough result today," said coach Hideki Nakada. "I don't believe the score line reflects our performance on the field, as we created enough chances to score, but between their goalkeeper making crucial saves and us not being sharp enough in front of the goal, we unfortunately couldn't break them down."
Four different players were credited with multiple shots, led by Luisa Delgado, who topped the team with three attempts. Ryann Cull, Katie O'Kane and Taliana Kaufusi also has multiple tries and both of Kaufusi's shots were on frame, making her the only Utah player with multiple on-target efforts. In goal, Evie Vitali posted five saves.
The Cougars quickly got on the board with a Grayson Lynch goal in the ninth minute. Lynch won a battle for the ball at the top of the box and put it in the net with her left foot to break the scoreless tie.
In the 16th minute, the Utes had a chance to answer thanks to a brilliant through ball from Courtney Brown that sent Taliana Kaufusi in on goal, but WSU's Nadia Cooper stopped Kaufusi's shot. Another Utah chance came in the 32nd minute, when Delgado fired a right-footed shot towards the net from the top of the box, only for Cooper to make another save.
The final 45 minutes saw the Cougars create several opportunities to extend their lead, but Vitali denied each one including a diving stop on a WSU header in the 54th minute. The Cougars tried Vitali three times in the final 10 minutes, but Utah's keeper was up to each challenge.
Offensively, the best chance for the Utes to get even in the final 45 minutes came at the 83:50 mark. A cross by Ragan Fuller came to Kelly Bullock just outside the six-yard box, but her left-footed try was saved by a diving Cooper, stopping what would be Utah's final attempt on goal of the day.
"We're playing well between the 18's," said Nakada, "as we outplayed both teams this weekend in that space, but we have to be better in the final third and we can't allow these soft goals to put ourselves in a hole. We will continue to get better and I'm excited to get to play in front of our great fans on Thursday."
The Utes will be back on their home field on Thursday for their Pink Game against Oregon, which will begin at 6:30 p.m.