MILWAUKEE, Wisc. - Utah senior Nykell Seymour scored the first goal of her career as the Utes captured their 2015 opener at Marquette this evening in overtime, 1-0.
"I thought we played a really good first half and created some chances," head coach Rich Manning said. "We battled hard in the second half and created a really good goal for a great road win. Natalie was able to get by two or three defenders and Nykell had a great finish."
With the overtime just underway, Natalie Vukic received a throw-in and dribbled her way past a group of Marquette defenders. She found Seymour just inside the 18-yard box and her curling effort found the back of the net.
"When I got the ball, I just knew that I had to score," Seymour added. "I told myself this is going in and felt relieved when it did."
"I think we are ready for what the season brings. We had a difficult end to last season and our coaches really turned it up a notch with our training in the preseason. I think our mentally right now is 'bring it on'. We've been thrown a lot and I think we are going to find a way to conquer all obstacles in our way."
Utah had chances during the first 45 minutes with Vukic registering three shots, two of which were blocked by Marquette defenders. Taylor Slattery also notched three shots, skewing wide in the 20th minute and being denied by MU goalkeeper Amanda Engel five minutes later.
At the other end, Lindsey Luke denied Ashley Handwork and Eli Beard in the seventh minute off consecutive tries and then stopped Morgan Proffitt in the 20th minute.
In the second half, Hailey Skolmoski had her first chance when she headed wide off a corner in the 50th minute. Vukic was denied off another corner in the 65th minute and Megan Trabert fired high in the 82nd. Kaycee Buckley had a pair of quality looks in her return to action, heading wide in the 57th and going over the bar in the 72nd minute.
Luke made four saves in the second stanza, stopping Jacie Jermier twice, as well as Meegan Johnston on a counter-attack and Darian Powell in the 85th minute. The senior finished with seven saves for her 21st career shutout.
"I thought our back line played under control and maintained their composure," Manning added. "Marquette's chances primarily came on counters and off fouls. We did a nice job with their attack."
Utah finished with a 14-12 edge in shots and 7-4 advantage on corner kicks.
The Utes are back in action on Sunday when they play at No. 21 DePaul. Kick-off is scheduled for 12 p.m. CT in Chicago.