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Regular Season Ends with 2-2 Draw for Women’s Soccer

Nov 4, 2022

BOULDER, Colo. – Katie O'Kane tallied the match's initial goal and Haley Farrar later added her first score of the year to erase a second-half deficit, but the University of Utah women's soccer team was forced to settle for a 2-2 draw with the Colorado Buffaloes in Pac-12 action at Prentup Field on Friday evening.

The Utes' regular season comes to an end with the team's record at 6-7-6 and 2-5-4 in conference. Colorado ends the year 8-7-5 and 2-6-3.

"Today's result was the epitome of our season," said coach Hideki Nakada. "We outplayed our opposition and dominated statistically, but just couldn't find a way to win."

"Throughout the year, we've had many should or could have games and moments that would've put us in a position to extend our season. I truly believe we have a team capable of playing in the postseason and I'm gutted for our Utes that we won't get that opportunity."

Utah fired off a season-high 27 shots, their most in match since they also piled up 27 on Oct. 29, 2017 against Oregon State, while the squad's 10 shots on goal were their second-most in 2022. Four of those on-frame tries came from O'Kane, who also topped the team with six total shots. Taliana Kaufusi contributed five, Madeline Vergura and Courtney Brown added three, while Kaela Standish and Farrar recorded two.

The Utes' offensive onslaught started almost immediately, as they logged nine shots in the first 20 minutes and it was O'Kane who finally broke through in the 20th minute. The junior from Seattle received a pass from Brooklyn Blaylock on the right side of the box and sent a shot into the left side of the net for her second goal of the year. The assists went to Blaylock, her first of the year, and Courtney Brown, her third.

Unfortunately for the visitors, their lead was short-lived. Colorado responded with an equalizer by Civana Kuhlman 85 seconds later and the teams continued to trade opportunities over the next 20 minutes, both registering attempts on goal. The final on-target try of the half came on a Buffaloes' throw-in and resulted in a goal for Emerson Layne, putting the home team up 2-1 at halftime.

At the start of the second period, Utah quickly went to work in search of the tying goal, with O'Kane and Vergua both sending in shots that were saved. The Utes' work paid off in the 67th minute, when Kelly Bullock drew a foul in the box that earned the team a penalty kick. While the initial effort was saved, Farrar was on the spot to deflect the rebound in and knot the score at 2-2.

After Farrar's score, both sides did their best to come up the winner and Evie Vitali made two late saves to keep the score level, first in the 69th minute and again in the 88th. Utah's final opportunity came courtesy of O'Kane in the 87th minute, but it was saved as well.

This result marks the sixth tie of the year for Utah, their most in a season since they also finished with six in 2013.

"We've made great strides this season," said Nakada, "and our quality of play improved drastically. Unfortunately, it doesn't show in our record, but I'm really proud of our players and appreciate them for believing in our system and style of play, which is different from many other programs."

"I'm full of gratitude for our seniors for giving this program everything they have. They raised our standards and I'm determined to continue to build a program they can be proud of."

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