Taylor Slattery celebrates her game-winner
Oct. 6, 2013
SALT LAKE CITY - Utah soccer made it a clean sweep this weekend with a 1-0 victory over Oregon State on Sunday thanks to an early goal by freshman Taylor Slattery. The Utes improved to 6-1-5, 2-0-1 in Pac-12 play.
“I think a game like this really shows character,” Head Coach Rich Manning said. “Full credit to Oregon State but I’m proud of the way we played. This game was similar to the Oklahoma contest and we couldn’t get the win in that one. I think we play with positive energy and the right amount of physicality to get the result. I think the team is playing very well and to get two results at home, that certainly helps with our confidence level.”
Slattery scored her second goal of the season in the 14th minute off a pass from Katie Taylor, who now has a team-high 11 points this season. Slattery received a pass from the left and slid the ball across the turf, past the OSU goalkeeper to the bottom, right corner. It was the first real offensive foray by the Utes and it put them in front, 1-0.
“I felt like we pushed the tempo really well and worked really hard for the result today,” Slattery said. “I think that after we scored the goal we struggled a little but we eventually picked it up. They tried to force the issue but we were able to gain momentum off our defense. They’re solid in the back and I always feel they will be there to clean up.”
Oregon State pressured Utah after allowing the initial tally, recording five shots and forcing Lindsey Luke into three saves. Luke finished the game with five saves and lowered her goals-against average on the season to 0.11 and raised her save percentage to .970. She now has seven shutouts on the season, one shy of the all-time Ute mark set by Ashley Mason in 2003.'
“Lindsey’s only allowed one goal all season, so she’s doing something right,” Manning said. “In all seriousness, I think she is being more vocal in her direction of the defenders. She’s helping things get organized in the back and that comes with her training. She’s now been able to get two or three weeks under her belt after being out so I think she will continue to get even better.”
The Utes did a nice job maintaining possession and keeping the Beavers from mounting much offensively during the first 20 minutes of the second period. Luke was called into action in the 74th minute when she denied OSU’s Brandi Dawson. Jenny Hutton also made a huge play to keep the Utes in front when she headed a ball that was going toward an unguarded portion of the net.
Utah’s best chances came on the counter when Katie Rigby hit a rocket that was knocked away by OSU goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme in the 76th minute. Ashton Hall would hit the post in the 85th and Harley Spier was unable to corral the rebound. Kaycee Buckley had one last try in the final minute but once again, Prudhomme made the save.
With only one loss in their first 12 contests, Utah matches the mark set by the 2002 team that started 9-1-2 and ended 13-4-3. That squad qualified for the NCAA Tournament.
Utah also has a nine-match unbeaten streak at Ute Field which started last season with a 3-1 victory over Oregon. Since then, Utah is 6-0-3 while out-scoring its opponents 21-6 and posting five shutouts. Since joining the Pac-12, Utah is 19-4-3 at home.
The Utes are on the road next weekend with games at Washington and Washington State. Utah plays the Huskies on Friday evening at 8 p.m. and the Cougars on Sunday at noon. That game will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.