Salt Lake City, UT
Facing a nationally ranked team in 90-degree weather Sunday at Ute Soccer Field, South Dakota State scored first and hung tough, but ultimately dropped a 4-1 decision to Utah.
The Jackrabbits (0-2) had five shots on goal against the 20th-ranked Utes, who put up 22 total shots in the contest . led the way for SDSU with a goal on her lone attempt, while , , and recorded shots as well. added an assist for the Jacks.
started in net and logged six saves in 77 minutes before closed out the match at keeper.
"I’m really proud of the way we started the game," head coach said. "Anytime you have the chance to play a top 20 team the margin for error is small, and outside of the first six minutes of the second half I thought we competed with great effort and focus."
SDSU took the early lead off Manuleleua’s first career goal, when after a throw-in, Hatcher corralled a cross from in the box, fought through a pair of Ute defenders and found Manuleleua for a one-touch finish at 8:54.
Utah tied it at 15:58 on a second chance goal by Hailey Skolmoski, and took a 2-1 lead in the 21st when Eden Jacobsen put a shot into the upper left corner of the goal.
Play evened the rest of the half as SDSU went to the break trailing by one, recording four shots on goal in the period.
The Utes extended their lead to three (4-1) early in the second, scoring quickly in the 50th and 51st minutes on goals by Paolo Van der Veer and Skolmoski.
The Jacks worked to regain momentum the rest of the way, but a stout Utah defense kept State from closing the gap over the final 40 minutes.
Nicole Hatcher recorded her 17th career assist and is now alone in the No. 4 spot on SDSU’s record list. SDSU last played a ranked opponent Nov. 14, 2014, taking on No. 6 North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament.
The Jackrabbits return to Fishback Soccer Park next weekend for their home opener, welcoming North Dakota to town Friday night.
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