OGDEN, Utah – Taliana Kaufusi recorded her team-high fourth goal of 2023 for the University of Utah women’s soccer team to match an early score by the Weber State Wildcats and help the Utes manage a 1-1 draw on Thursday night at the Wildcat Soccer Field in Ogden, Utah.
The Utes now own a mark of 3-2-3 and are 2-0-3 on the road in 2023, the first time in program history they’ve gone undefeated through their first five road matches. WSU is now 0-6-1.
“We played with great intensity and urgency in the second half but had we done that from the beginning, I’d like to think that we would be going home with a better result,” said head coach Hideki Nakada. “This has been a tough stretch but we have to learn from these moments and get better from it. I’m looking forward to seeing how we respond on Sunday against a very good Colorado State team.”
It didn’t take long for the Wildcats to break the ice, as they scored on their first shot of the night. A WSU free kick was sent towards Morgan Furmaniak just outside the 18 and her header came to Grace Kirby on the left side of the box. Kirby’s right-footed shot found its way into the net to put the home team on top in the seventh minute.
For the rest of the half, Utah tried to equalize and they piled up an 8-2 edge in shots over their hosts. Three of those tries were on goal, but each one was stopped by the Wildcats’ Hadley Harris and WSU maintained their lead into the break.
The Utes quickly went back to work in the final period and this time, their efforts yielded an equalizer in the 48th minute. Courtney Brown sent a Utah corner kick into the box and Kaufusi was on the spot with a header that crossed the goal line to even the score. In addition to being Kaufusi’s fourth goal, it also counted as Brown’s fourth assist, which is tops on the roster.
Both teams spent the remaining 40 minutes trying to find the winning tally, but a winner eluded each side. Utah piled up 10 more shots, putting four of them on goal, but none was able to find the back of the net.
The Utes ended the night with a 19-8 advantage in shots, including an 8-2 edge in on-target efforts. This marks the fifth time in seven matches Utah has outshot its opponent. Lilliah Blum’s seven shots were a career-high and she was one of five Utah players who was credited with multiple tries.
The next match on the docket for the Utes takes them to Colorado State on Sunday for a 1 p.m. kickoff.
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