SALT LAKE CITY - Natalie Vukic and Megan Trabert scored for Utah soccer in a 2-1 comeback victory over Arizona State this evening that went to extra time.
“I just think this result shows the resolve and fighting spirit this team has been playing with these last couple of weeks,” head coach Rich Manning said. “We just played with fantastic energy and determination. Being back home in front of this great crowd tonight certainly helped.”
Utah trailed with five minutes on the clock as Ali Allen passed off to Vukic. The sophomore burst past a slew of ASU defenders and unleashed a shot from just around 20 yards that pierced the net. It was Vukic’s team-leading fourth goal of the season and would send the match to overtime.
Then in extra time, the Utes struck immediately. Paola van der Veen took a corner from the near side of the field that sailed toward the back post. Trabert leapt above her defender and headed back across the grain and into the net for the winner.
“I was frustrated because we had that same chance a couple times in the game and we didn’t capitalize,” Trabert said. “Credit to Po (Paola van der Veen) because she served in a great ball and I got my head to it. I was worried that I hit it over the bar, but then I saw it get past that defender on the end and in the corner.”
For Trabert, a senior defender, it was her first goal of the season after tying for the team lead last year. Utah goalkeeper Lindsey Luke made eight saves, matching her season-high set against BYU. ASU held a 15-8 edge in shots and a 6-5 advantage on corner kicks.
“I think we’ve tried to develop a system with these players and you see them getting more comfortable,” Manning added. “Natalie was buzzing around and being dangerous up front for the entire match. Credit to ASU’s forwards, they are very dynamic so our defenders and Lindsey had to keep us in it. A lot of players stepped up for us tonight – Kaycee, Cabria, Max, Eden, Mikayla – to name a few.”
Alyssa Martinez tested Luke right out of the gate after ASU won a corner in the third minute. Utah’s first chance arrived after an ASU foul in the 14th minute. Van der Veen sent a low shot in that was held by Chandler Morris
Luke stopped Madison Stark in the 23rd minute and after a corner, the senior goalkeeper also denied McKenzie Berryhill ‘s headed attempt.
In the 38th minute, the Utes earned another corner against the Sun Devils. Kaycee Buckley had her stopped by Morris and Vukic’s rebound went over the bar. Luke closed the half with another big stop, making a save on Jazmarie Mader to keep the match scoreless
There was a bit of foreshadowing to start the second half as Utah created a corner and Baylee Nielsen’s header was blocked away by an ASU defender at the far post. Luke continued to make plays at the other end when she snuffed out a Cali Farquharson header and a Martinez drive.
After Van der Veen had an attempt blocked, ASU raced the other way and earned a free kick just outside the penalty area. Farquharson stepped up and converted her seventh goal of the season, nailing a shot over the wall into the top left corner.
Prior to Vukic’s equalizer, Max Flom tested Morris at the near post. Five minutes later, the Utes pulled even.
Luke needed to make one more stop on Farquharson in the closing seconds to send the game to extra time.
Utah is back in action on Sunday when it welcomes No. 21 Arizona to town. The Utes and Wildcats kick-off at 1 p.m. and you can watch a live stream of the game via UtahUtes.com