Match-up: Utah vs. No. 8 Stanford
Date: Friday, Sept. 25
Kickoff: 4 p.m. MT
Location: Ute Field
Promotion: Ute Proud
TV: Pac-12 Network
Weekend at a Glance
Utah soccer (3-3-3) opens Pac-12 play on Friday against No. 8 Stanford (6-2-0). Kick-off is scheduled for 4 p.m. and the game will be televised live nationally on the Pac-12 Network. This contest will also serve as the Ute Proud game.
Manning Making History
With one more victory, Rich Manning will earn his 150th career win at Utah. During his tenure, Manning has established Utah soccer as an elite program in the west.
Manning has coached the Utes to an NCAA Tournament berth in six of his years at the helm. Prior to joining the Pac-12, Manning directed Utah to three Mountain West Conference regular-season championships (2003, `05, `06) and a pair of league tournament titles (2003, `04).
Luke Leading the Way
Utah soccer’s Lindsey Luke was named the Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Week on August 25 for her season-opening performances.
Luke made seven saves as Utah earned a 1-0 victory over Marquette. She then made three saves in a 0-0 draw with No. 21 DePaul. With both games going into overtime, Luke racked up over 200 minutes of scoreless play.
No Utah player has earned more accolades from the Pac-12 in program history than Luke. This was the sixth time she has been named Goalkeeper of the Week.
An All-Pac-12 performer and NSCAA All-Region selection, Luke needs 53 saves and six shutouts this year to set the Utah career marks in both categories. She currently leads the Pac-12 with 4.89 saves per contest.
The Utes are aiming for the seventh NCAA Tournament appearance and second in three years as it embarks on the 2015 season. After a third-place finish in 2013, its highest ever, the squad slumped to a .500 mark in 2014.
The Utes started last season with an 8-1-1 mark after a draw with No. 4 Stanford opened Pac-12 play. However, Utah lost two significant players to injury and came undone in close games, dropping five one-goal contests in league play.
Last Weekend’s Results
After a setback against local foe Utah State, the Utes battled back for a 2-2 tie against Loyola Marymount on Sunday. Natalie Vukic scored the first goal of the match and then assisted on Hailey Skolmoski’s equalizer.
It was the first collegiate goal of Skolmoski’s career and Vukic now leads the team with seven points, tied for 10th in the Pac-12. The Utes also out-shot both foes last weekend by a total of 57-28.
Trabert a Team Leader
During her four years at Utah, Megan Trabert has been a stalwart in defense. The team captain has started every game since arriving on campus, playing almost every minute in the process.
Last season she tied for the team lead with four goals and finished with three assists, giving her 10 points. Not only is she a fantastic player, but she also excels off the field, as she was selected to the CoSIDA Academic All-District team as well as being named a Pac-12 All-Academic choice for the second-straight year.
Megan’s grandfather, Tony, was a former Wimbledon, U.S. Open, and French Open champion and the no. 1- ranked tennis player in the world.
Mariah Makes Pac-12 All-Freshman Team
In her first season with the Utes, Mariah Elmer scored three goals, including the game-winner at local foe Utah State. She played in 17 games, starting three, before incurring a late-season injury.
With her two goals in the win over USD, she became the first player to have a multi-goal game for the Utes since teammate Megan Trabert two seasons ago at Washington State.
Utah has placed a player on the All-Freshman team all four seasons since joining the Pac-12 as teammates Katie Rogers and Lindsey Luke were also honored after their debut campaigns.
Utah’s New Class
The Utes added eight true freshmen to the team for the 2015 season; Max Flom, Eden Jacobsen, Paige Johnson, Allie Millerberg, Hailey Skolmoski, Shelby Stewart, Liberty Taylor and Paola van der Veen.
Skolmoski has started every game while Van der Veen has played seven contests, starting six, missing time due to an illness. Jacobsen has started four contests and Flom three while both have appeared in every game. Millerberg and Taylor have also seen action this year for the Utes.
Utah is 1-5-1 all-time against Stanford with the only victory occurring in the 2006 opener. The Utes topped the No. 19 Cardinal, 2-1, in Santa Clara. Utah is 0-1-1 against Stanford at Ute Field and owns a 24-14-3 mark against Pac-12 foes at this complex.
Last season, Mariah Elmer scored the equalizer two minutes into the second half and Utah fought to a 1-1 draw with the No. 4 Cardinal. Megan Turner’s early goal had given Stanford the lead but the Ute defense kept them off the board during the remainder of the game. Lindsey Luke made six saves as Stanford finished with 19 shots to Utah’s 12
Scouting the Opposition
Two Stanford players were named to the Hermann Trophy watch list – junior goalkeeper Jane Campbell and sophomore midfielder Andi Sullivan. Both of those players were joined by defender Stephanie Amack on the US U-20 World Cup squad in 2014.
Combine those players along with four other returning starters and the No. 1-ranked recruiting class for the second year in a row and it is easy to see how Stanford has qualified for 17 consecutive NCAA tournaments.
Last season, Stanford advanced to the College Cup (national semifinals) for the sixth time in the past seven years. Stanford won the 2011 NCAA title and has an ongoing home NCAA tournament unbeaten streak of 25.
Searching for the Breakthrough
Utah is 3-19-2 vs. Top 10 teams all-time. It has been 17 contests since their last win against such an opponent, 2-1 at No. 7 UCLA on 10/1/04.
The Utes have not beaten a Top 25 squad in their last 18 games overall dating back to a 1-0 victory over Oregon State on 10/14/11. That was also the last home win over a ranked team, going 0-4-3 since that contest.
Utah Soccer Earns NSCAA Academic Awards
The Utah women’s soccer team earned a NSCAA Team Academic Award for the fifth year in a row and 13th time overall. The award started being handed out in 1996 and the Utes are second among Pac-12 schools (Washington, 14).
A total of 582 soccer teams over three divisions posted a team grade point average of 3.0 or higher, thereby earning the NSCAA Team Academic Award for the 2013-14 academic year. Utah posted a 3.33 team GPA and was fourth among all Pac-12 teams for the academic year.
Utah had three players, including returnee Katie Rogers, named as NSCAA Women’s University Division Scholar All-West Region honorees.
Season Ticket Scarves
Season tickets are $20 and come with a Utah Soccer Scarf. Your scarf serves as your season ticket and will get you admission to all home games. All seating is general admission. To get your 2015 season ticket scarf, visit http://utahtickets.com/soccer/#single-games or call 801-581-UTIX.