SALT LAKE CITY – Taliana Kaufusi scored its third goal of the season and the University of Utah women’s soccer team tied 1-1 on Sunday night in a game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Ute Field.
The Utes’ second tie of the season puts their record at 3-1-2, while Alabama is 4-1-1.
“Alabama are a great team and there’s no shame in opposing them,” coach said Hideki Nakada“but you have to learn how to finish the game better. We struggled to keep possession of the ball throughout the game and for the first time this season, we couldn’t control the tempo of the game. We learned a lot about us this weekend and we will use it to improve.”
Utah wasted no time in breaking the ice with Kaufusi’s third-minute goal giving the hosts a 1-0 lead. Salt Lake City’s second caught a perfectly placed header pass from Luisa Delgado and beat keeper McKinley Crone with a shot from the left side of the box for the first goal the Utes have scored so far in 2022.
The remainder of the first half saw a tight Utah defense prevent the Crimson Tide from registering a single shot on goal and the Utes also successfully defended a trio of corner kicks to protect their slim lead. . Kaufusi’s score would be the only effort on target from the initial frame as the score remained 1-0 at the break.
Alabama increased the pressure in the second half, outscoring the hosts, 12-2, but for more of the final period, by Evie Vitali brilliance in goal kept Utah’s lead intact. Vitali left his net to beat Crimson Tide’s Gianna Paul and end a scoring opportunity in the 56e minute, then made a spectacular save on the header from the penalty area in the 69e minute. The Utah sophomore ended the night with a season-high five saves.
It’s only in 89e minute that Alabama found the equalizer. The 10e On the corner of the night for the visitors, Felicia Knox sent a ball into the box which found Reyna Reyes and her shot went into the back of the net to level the score. The final 83 seconds passed without incident as the Utes earned their second draw of the year.
The Utes’ season-opening stretch of six straight games at home ends Sunday, Sept. 11, when they host the Utah State Aggies at 5:00 p.m. MT.
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