Harley Spier scored her team-leading fourth goal of the season against California.
Oct. 7, 2012
SALT LAKE CITY - Despite out-shooting California by a 17-12 margin, the University of Utah women's soccer team fell by a 3-1 score Sunday at Ute Field. Junior midfielder Harley Spier (Lehi, Utah) scored Utah's only goal of the weekend in the 87th minute of play.
"I think the game today was ours for the taking but the difference was in the 18-yard boxes," said Utah head coach Rich Manning. "They had a couple of bounces go their way and they were more composed on the ball, more willing to do the hustle work. We had as many or more chances but we didn't do the hustle work, and their goalie made a couple of great saves."
With the Utes trailing 3-0, Spier scored a nearly identical goal to the one she finished against Washington last Sunday, with pure hustle and grit. After a cross came in from the left side, sophomore forward Katie Taylor got a head on it but California goalkeeper Emily Kruger was able to make the save. Spier, who was crashing the goal in case of a rebound, was right there ready to put away the second chance from just a couple yards out, netting her team-leading fourth goal of the season.
Utah had several other scoring opportunities in the game, most of which came in the second half. Sophomore midfielder Avery Ford beat Kruger from long range but the shot rung off the crossbar. On two other possessions, freshman defender Megan Trabert was able to out-jump the Cal defense and to win two headers, but put one wide and another over the bar. Kruger made several excellent saves in goal as well and finished the game with 10 stops.
"I think in general we need to have more composure in front of goal," Manning said. "We need more precision and at some point our attackers need to have the attitude of `hey, I'm just going to go in there and get it.' Harley keeps scoring goals because she has the attitude and courage to do it. I think we need more of that but also more composure. We got in good spots and then we rushed it and crossed it out of bounds or didn't hit the shot we wanted to. It's another step we need to make in our development."
Utah put 11 shots-on-goal to Cal's seven and had the advantage in corner kicks, 4-2. Fouls were whistled 11-7 against the visiting side. Utah goalkeeper Lindsey Luke finished with four saves. It was the first time all season that the Utes allowed more than two goals in a game.
The Utes are back in action with their last home game of the season on Friday, Oct. 12, against Oregon. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m.