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Utah Utes soccer: Team wins despite sluggish effort

University of Utah's Erin Dalley, top, leaps over the slide tackle attempt of Cal Poly's Julianne Grinstead in the Utes' 2-0 win over the Mustangs at Ute Field Sunday afternoon.
University of Utah's Erin Dalley, top, leaps over the slide tackle attempt of Cal Poly's Julianne Grinstead in the Utes' 2-0 win over the Mustangs at Ute Field Sunday afternoon.
Jason Olson, Deseret News

The Utah soccer team improved to 4-0 on the season with a relatively easy 2-0 victory over Cal Poly Sunday afternoon at Ute Field.

So why wasn't Ute coach Rich Manning more excited about the victory?

Because he didn't like the effort his team gave.

"We were good for about 20 minutes in the first half," he said. "It was not one of our highlight performances."

The Utes fired 13 shots in the first half and converted on a couple within a five-minute span, which was all they needed.

First, senior Jen Christoffers scored in the 25th minute after a defender fell down with a wide open shot from 15 yeards out. Then in the 30th minute Erin Dalley followed with a shot to the top right corner after another opponent mistake on a clearance.

In the second half the Utes only got a couple of shots on goal and looked sluggish, prompting Manning to say, "It couldn't have been much fun to watch."

Part of it could have been that the Utes were coming off a 1-0 win over No. 19 Santa Clara just two nights earlier. Also the unseasonable 95-degree weather couldn't have helped.

"It seemed like we were tired and it was hot today," said Christoffers.

One positive for the Utes was that Manning was able to clear his bench and get some of his young players some needed experience.

The Utes come back with a game Wednesday night against Weber State followed by a Sunday afternoon game against William & Mary.

UTAH STATE 3, STEPHEN F. AUSTIN 2: Two second-half goals scored less than six minutes apart led the Utah State soccer team to a 3-2 win over Stephen F. Austin Sunday at the Miner Classic in El Paso, Texas. The Aggies ended the tournament with a 2-0 record and collect at least a share of the Miner Classic title, depending on the outcome of the match between UTEP and Texas Tech.

USU now improves to 3-0-0 this season which is the Aggies' best start ever.

Less than a minute into the match, senior forward Erin Salmon scored her first goal of the season. Salmon drilled a shot from 25 yards out and out of reach of Ladyjack goalkeeper Courtney Baulder. Salmon was able to play 49 minutes Sunday coming off an injury.

The Aggies retook the lead in the 74th minute when freshman defender Natalie Norris scored her first collegiate goal.

e-mail: sor@desnews.com