Katie Taylor celebrates her game-winning goal in overtime as the Utes took down Washington State on Friday.
Sept. 28, 2012
SALT LAKE CITY - Harley Spier's 88th-minute header set the stage and Katie Taylor's overtime chip delivered the victory as Utah women's soccer captured a dramatic 2-1 come-from-behind victory Friday. With their first Pac-12 Conference win of the season, the Utes (6-2-2, 1-1-0 Pac-12) remain unbeaten at home in 2012 and have now won 12 of their last 13 at Ute Field.
In the 98th minute of action, Taylor, a sophomore forward from Kaysville, Utah, ran onto a perfectly-weighted thru-ball by sophomore midfielder Avery Ford (Ogden, Utah). Running on a full sprint to beat her defender to the ball, Taylor was able to keep her composure and chip the ball over the sliding WSU goalkeeper and in for the game-winning goal. It was her third goal of the season and her second game-winning strike.
"I knew I wanted to chip [the goalkeeper]," said Taylor. "That was my thought process. When you are in the box you need to be composed. If she hadn't slid then it might not have worked, but I stuck with my gut feeling and it went in. A couple minutes earlier I hit one with my left foot that almost went in and I just wanted to score one so badly."
After falling behind 1-0 with just eight minutes left in the game, Utah equalized with just over 90 seconds remaining in the contest as Spier, a sophomore midfielder from Lehi, Utah, delivered the game-tying header. Junior defender Monica Okapal (Bountiful, Utah) supplied the service on a free kick from just over midfield. It was Spier's second goal of the season and the fourth of her career, while Okapal was credited with her first career assist.
"Our team this year continues to demonstrate that they have a great fighting spirit and it's what carried us today," said Utah head coach Rich Manning. "We didn't play very well but full credit to Washington State, they're an excellent team. I think they missed some chances today that they would usually make. But our girls keep plugging away, they don't get down and they just keep working. Once we got the tying goal I think it was a bit of a gut-punch to them and you could tell in the overtime I think we finally turned it for us. I think that all goes back to the competitive spirit our team has."
Utah goalkeeper Lindsey Luke (Corona del Mar, Calif.) kept her team in the game to the end with a career-high 10 saves and ultimately picked up her fifth win of the season. Gurveen Clair made four saves in the Cougar net.
Washington State (6-3-1, 0-1-1 Pac-12) had a clear advantage in shots at 23-9 overall, with shots-on-goal going 11-6 for the Cougars. WSU led the corner kicks 4-3, while Utah was whistled for 10 fouls to WSU's nine.
Utah is back in action Sunday as the Utes host Washington (7-2-1, 0-1-0 Pac-12). The Huskies will face Colorado Friday before traveling to Salt Lake City. Kickoff at Ute Field is scheduled for 1 p.m. MT.