Utah had another highly successful season under second-year head coach Rich Manning in 2003. The Utes went 16-2-2 overall and 6-0 in Mountain West play, going undefeated against conference foes for the first time and winning its first outright league title. The Utes captured the 2003 Mountain West Conference Tournament title at the U.'s Rice-Eccles Stadium, hosting the event for the first time ever. After getting a first round bye, Utah got past UNLV in a shootout in the semifinals and defeated BYU 2-0 in the championship game. Utah hosted the NCAA first and second round games at Ute Field, another first in the program's history. The Utes played Idaho State to a scoreless tie in the first round with the Bengals advancing via a shootout.
Utes Finish In Top 25 For First Time
Record Setting Wins
Manning Named West Region Coach Of The Year
Rich Manning, who completed his second year as head coach of the Utah women's soccer program, was named the NSCAA/adidas West Region Coach of the Year. He was one of six regional award winners.
Manning is 29-6-5 (.788) in two seasons at Utah with a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances. In 2003, he led the Utes to a consensus Top 25 national ranking and a 16-2-2 mark. His two-year record in Mountain West Conference action 11-1.
Brower Earns Academic Honors
Senior forward Amber Brower was named to the 2003 NSCAA/adidas Women's College Scholar All-America first team. She was also placed on the Scholar All-West Region first team.
A business major, Brower carried a 3.35 cumulative grade point average. The Hyrum, Utah, native was also a second team CoSIDA Academic All-District VIII selection.
NSCAA All-Region Selections
Utah had four players on the National Soccer Coaches Association of America 2003 All-West Region teams. Senior forward Amber Brower made the first team. Freshman goalkeeper Ashley Mason, junior midfielder Tracy Stratton and freshman forward Amanda Feight were placed on the second team.
Brower led the Utes with nine goals this season-including six game-winners-and had four assists. Mason allowed just 0.301 goals per game to rank first in the nation. Stratton was a major contributor to Utah's defense. She also scored three goals and had one assist. Feigt was second on the team with five goals and led the way with eight assists. She also had two game-winning goals.
Soccer Buzz Honors
Rich Manning was named the West Region Coach of the Year, while Amber Brower and Amanda Feigt were voted to the 2003 All-West Region team by Soccer Buzz Magazine. Feigt and Ashley Mason were named to the Soccer Buzz Freshman All-America second team. Michelle Deatherage joined Feigt and Mason on the All-West Freshman team.
Brower, Feigt and junior midfilder Tracy Stratton were named first team all-league.
Utes Second, Mason First In NCAA In Goals-Against Average
In the final NCAA statistics, Utah ranked second in goals-against average (0.436) and fifth in shutout percentage (0.65). Individually, freshman goalkeeper Ashley Mason ranked first in goals-against average (0.301).
Mason gave up only four goals in 1194 minutes and had 8.2 shutouts. She made 58 saves (.935 saves percentage). Freshman Kaycie Zimmerman has allowed just five goals in 664 minutes. She made 18 saves (.783 saves percentage) with a 0.68 goals against average and had 3.2 shutouts.
Mountain West Statistical Rankings
In the final MWC team rankings, Utah was second in shots (308), second in goals (28), second in assists (36), second in points (112), first in goals allowed (25), fifth in saves (78), first in shutouts (13), second in corners (133), second in goals per game (1.90), second in assists per game (1.80), second in shots per game (15.40), second in points per game (5.60) first in goals-against average (0.44), fifth in saves per game (3.90).
In the MWC individual rankings, Amanda Feigt was fourth in shots (58), seventh in points (18), 10th in goals (5), third in assists (8), fifth in game-winning goals (2), second in shots per game (2.90), sixth in points per game (0.90), 10th in goals per game (0.25), second in assists per game (0.40) ... Lauren Field was ninth in shots (41), eighth in points (17), fifth in goals (7), fifth in game-winning goals (2), seventh in shots per game (2.56), second in points per game (1.06), second in goals per game (0.44) ... Amber Brower was ninth in shots (41), second in points (22), first in goals (9), 10th in assists (4), first in game-winning goals (6) first in points per game (1.10), first in goals per game (0.45), ninth in assists per game (0.20) ... Missy Dennis was fourth in assists (7), 10th in points (15), fifth in game-winning goals (2), 10th in points per game (0.75), fourth in assists per game (0.35) ... Carisse Winegar was 10th in assists (4), ninth in assists per game (0.20) ... Ashley Mason was sixth in saves (58), first in shutouts (8), first in goals against average (0.30), fifth in saves per game (3.62) ... Kaycie Zimmerman was 10th in saves (18), seventh in shutouts (3).
Utah Against Ranked Teams
Utah Season Records
Team broke the record for shutouts (13) ... Amanda Feigt ranked fourth in assists (8) ... Missy Dennis was tied for fifth in assists (7) ... Ashley Mason ranked first in shutouts (8.2).
Lauren Field tied the fourth-best mark for points (6 vs. Baylor, 9-7-03) and tied the second-best mark for goals (3 vs. Baylor, 9-7-03).
MWC All-Tournament Honors
Amber Brower was named MWC Tournament Most Valuable Player. Brower scored the first goal and assisted on the second in Utah's 2-0 win over BYU in the championship game. Also making the all-tournament team for Utah were Bobbie Benegas, Lauren Field and Tracy Stratton.
Season Attendance Mark
Utah ranked 30th in the NCAA in attendance in 2003, setting a school season record. The Utes drew 7,837 fans and averaged 712 fans over 11 games.
Soccer America Team of the Week
Amber Brower Sept. 22-28
Team Awards (voted by players and coaches)
Most Improved Player - Tasia Duarte
Rookie of the Year - Ashley Mason
Most Inspirational Player - Bobbie Benegas
Offensive Player of the Year - Amber Brower
Defensive Player of the Year - Jen Williams
Most Valuable Player - Amber Brower
Academic Excellence Award - Genny Grimm
Utah's Postseason History
Ute 2003 Notes