With goals from Kaycee Buckley and Avery Jenkins, Utah soccer improved to 2-0-1 on the season with a 2-1 win over the Boise State Broncos in the home opener at Ute Field. At practice this week, head coach Rich Manning told me that Boise State plays stingy defense, and it would be up to the Utah players to break them down and create scoring opportunities. Clearly, the team did that. "I’m super pleased, because we did a nice job carving up an athletic team," Manning said. "We did really well in every phase of the game and we scored two high-quality goals."
Utah scored their first goal in the 24th minute when Buckley scored a goal off an assist by Katie Rigby. With the goal, Buckley has two now on the season and is tied for the team lead in points scored. Utah added their second goal in the 74th minute when Jenkins dribbled from the left penalty area and made a shot in the far right corner of the net. "I cut in and I was trying to get the goalkeeper to come out," Jenkins said. "Fortunately, she did and I just stayed composed and made the shot."
Lindsey Luke played well for Utah in the goal. She made several nice saves (totaling a season high four in the match), including one at the end on a free kick to preserve the win. The one goal Boise State scored (87th minute) took a weird bounce that caught Luke a little off guard. "The goal at the end was frustrating but in the long run, now you can look back and see it as a teaching moment," Manning added. "It sends a message that you can’t rest and things could happen in a game. We just have to stay positive and continue to attack."
Overall, the Utes played well against a good Boise State team. They knew to expect tough defense, and they handled it well, scoring two goals and creating multiple other scoring opportunities. "I was happy with our attack tonight because we are really shuffling in a lot of players and making sure everyone’s fit," Manning stated. "We’re trying new things and I’d say for about two-thirds of the game we had a really nice run of things."