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No. 9 Cal tops Utes in 2OT

Utah's Amanda Sanchez, right, heads the ball while Cal's Julia Schnuff is trying to defend.
Utah's Amanda Sanchez, right, heads the ball while Cal's Julia Schnuff is trying to defend.
Tom Smart, Deseret Morning News

Utah should have been the fresher team Sunday afternoon against ninth-ranked Cal, which was coming off a 1-0 loss to BYU two nights earlier. And for much of the game, the Utes — who hadn't played since Thursday — played like they had a little more energy.

However as the scoreless game wore on, it was the Ute women who started to wilt under the increased pressure by the Bears. Finally in the 107th minute, in the second overtime period, the Bears got loose for a goal and a 1-0 victory.

The loss was the third in four games for the Utes, who started the season 6-0, while the Bears improved to 7-2-1.

"We kind of wore down as the game went on," Utah coach Rich Manning said. "We tried to keep our rotations shorter, but that's the risk you take when you get to overtime. Up until about the 75th minute, we played very well."

The Utes actually outshot the Bears 14 to 11 with a 5-3 edge in the first half and a 7-3 advantage in the second half. However, in the extra periods, the Bears outshot the Utes 5-2 and got the game-winner when Dania Cabello beat Ute goalkeeper Ashley Mason with 3:26 left in the second overtime.

The game would have ended in a scoreless tie with no shootout if neither team had scored.

"Those were two very good teams out there, and you could see they were fresher in the first half," said Cal coach Kevin Boyd, who saw his team lose on a second-half penalty kick in Provo on Friday night. "But we weathered the first half and gutted it out and found a way to win."

On the winning goal, Cabello actually set herself up for the score. She took a pass from midfield and passed to teammate Liz Eisenberg on the left side. She then got free in the middle and received a "wall pass" 10 yards in front of the goal and stuck it in the net.

"I didn't hesitate," she said. "I just slipped it past her."

The Utes had a shot on goal by Amanda Feigt in the first half and a couple of more by Adele Letro and Katy Reineke in the second half. Probably their best chance came in the 14th minute of the second half when Kiley Jones made a nice cross in front of the goal that Letro headed just over the top of the goal post.

The Utes play a pair of road games in Southern California, on Friday against Pepperdine and Sunday against Loyola Marymount, before returning home to start Mountain West Conference action against TCU on Oct. 6.

"I feel like we're in a pretty good spot," Manning said. "It was a little disappointing, but we're getting there. Overall our performance is solid."