No. 1 UCLA Tops Women’s Soccer, 3-0
SALT LAKE CITY – In a match against the No. 1 UCLA Bruins, the University of Utah women's soccer team ended up on the short end of a 3-0 score on Sunday afternoon in a Pac-12 conference contest at Ute Field.
The Utes' record now stands at 6-6-4 overall and they are 2-4-2 in league fixtures. The Bruins are 15-1 for the year and 7-1 in the Pac-12.
"It was encouraging to see us play evenly with them for the good portion of the match," said coach Hideki Nakada. "The score line certainly does not reflect how the game was being played. UCLA punished us on our mistakes and scored three goals and we weren't able to put away our chances, which was the difference."
The Bruins ended the day with a 13-9 edge in shots and they also put seven attempts on frame compared to four for Utah. The Utes' received multiple shots from Luisa Delgado and Taliana Kaufusi, both of whom were credited with two, including one try on goal. In goal, Kasey Wardle registered four saves.
Each team managed just a single shot over the first 15 minutes, but in the 18th minute, UCLA jumped in front, thanks to a Lexi Wright score. A cross from the left side of the box by Quincy McMahon rolled to the foot of Wright at the six-yard box and she flicked it over the line to open the scoring. Taliana Kaufusi nearly had an answer in the 26th minute, but her volley from the left side of the scoring area was saved by Lauren Brzkcy.
UCLA doubled its lead in the 32nd minute thanks to Sofia Cook. Cook stole the ball on the offensive side of the field, raced toward the goal and beat Wardle with a right-footed shot from the top of the box. Once again, the Utes almost answered with a score of their own, but a left-footed try courtesy of Kaela Standish clanged off the crossbar and the 2-0 deficit remained as the match hit halftime.
The Utes continued to push to get on the scoreboard early in the second half, firing off three shots in the first 15 minutes, but they couldn't find the strike they needed to get on the scoresheet. Unfortunately for Utah, it was the Bruins who broke the ice in the final period, thanks to an Ally Cook goal in the 73rd minute. Despite shots on goal from Kylee Geis and Delgado in the final 20 minutes, Utah was unable to find a score.
"I felt our players deserved better," said Nakada, "but it just wasn't our day. We're looking forward to another great challenge and opportunity next week."
The Utes will be on the road on Thursday for a 5 p.m. fixture against Stanford.