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Sockers hand Spiders their fourth straight loss

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DRAPER — Spiders coach Marco Rossi had to see the loss coming. He just didn't have anyone who could score.

With his top forwards missing because of other obligations, the Spiders were dealt a tough 3-0 loss by the San Diego Sockers at Juan Diego High School. It was their fourth straight loss.

"We've just had a bad season, we just can't get some good players," said Rossi.

With forwards Natalie Hensley and Kim Force playing at the Gothia Cup in Sweden, and all-time leading scorer Joanna Barney out as well, it didn't matter that Utah played good defense — it just wasn't good enough.

It didn't help either that goalie Melanie Stratford, defender Annie Hoecherl and midfielder Jeni Willardson were missing as well.

San Diego took advantage of Utah's weaknesses on a 29th-minute tally by Stefanie Case, who was left unmarked by the Spiders' defense. On a night when the offense was clicking, a one-game deficit could've been overcome, but against the second-place Sockers and defending league champs, that wasn't the case.

The loss dropped Utah to 4-6 on the season while San Diego improved to 7-2-2.

An absence of goals isn't a recent trend for Utah either. It has been outscored 15-1 in the past three games.

The problem in Rossi's opinion is a lack of commitment. Last year, the Spiders frequently fielded a team of top local collegians and were one of the premiere teams in the Women's Premiere Soccer League. That's rarely been the case this year.

During numerous games, Rossi scrambled to find interested players the day before the game, but he was even more desperate on Saturday. He had to recruit two players from the youth Pioneer Cup on the same day just so he could have a few subs.

While the newcomers played well, Rossi would've rather seen his big guns running around.

San Diego's Lori LaCoursier tacked on a 78th minute insurance goal, and then five minutes later Day DeLeon put the Sockers up 3-0.

Utah's final game of the season is this Friday against first-place Southern California.

E-mail: jedward@desnews.com