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Bad week gets worse for Spiders

Lack of depth, injuries catch up to Utah in loss

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DRAPER— When the Utah Spiders and the Sacramento Storm played earlier this season, Utah prevailed on the road 2-1.

Under much different circumstances this time, the Storm embarrassed the Spiders 4-1 at Juan Diego High School.

The Spiders were facing Sacramento with a depleted roster due to injuries and key players such as Kim Force and Natalie Hensley playing in a European tournament. Utah's roster became even more thin when the team lost goalkeeper Courtney Hills to an ankle injury in the second half.

"It's been a bad week," Spiders coach Marco Rossi said.

Rossi said his team would have had a better performance if they were more familiar with each other. It's hard to gel when four players who played on Saturday had never even practiced with the Spiders. Rossi said the unfamiliarity cost his team the game.

"We were scored on twice, because we were not able to defend properly on counter-attacks," Rossi said.

Utah struck first only five minutes into the game when Jordan Krieger headed in the first goal of the game. The Storm took control of the game almost immediately after that. Maureen Whitney and Vanessa Talbott scored in the first half. Stacie Savage added two insurance goals in the second half.

Unable to generate any offense after scoring the first goal, the Spiders were on their heels for most of the game. The Storm controlled the tempo and gained confidence as the game went on.

"It hurt to watch that type of game," Rossi said. "That's not what we normally do."

The Spiders play two road games next week in San Francisco. And, the results may not be much better than they were Saturday night. Force and Hensley will still be playing in Europe, and Farrah Hofheins probably won't return from a bout with appendicitis. From the looks of Hills' injury, she almost definitely won't be playing either.

"We're still going to struggle," Rossi said. "We're not deep at all."

E-MAIL: aaragon@desnews.com