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Utah Utes: Utah women's soccer team posts shutout

Published: Sunday, Sept. 30 2012 11:36 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — Freshman defender Megan Trabert buried a first-half header and sophomore midfielder Harley Spier scored for the second consecutive match as the Utah women's soccer team completed a weekend sweep with a 2-0 victory against Washington on Sunday at Ute Field.

In the 38th minute of play, sophomore midfielder McKel Wall slid a pass to sophomore midfielder Avery Ford, who lofted a cross to the far post. Trabert, who had come all the way up from her center back spot on the preceding corner kick, used all of her 5-foot-10 frame to her advantage and out-jumped the Washington defense, slamming a header past UW goalkeeper Kari Davidson. It was Trabert's first career goal and ultimately her first career game winner. Ford was credited with her second assist of the season while Wall earned her first.

Spier delivered an insurance goal in the 67th minute with pure hustle. As Ford carried the ball up-field and wound up for a long-range shot, Spier took off toward the Washington goal in anticipation of a scoring chance. Davidson made a very good save, tipping the ball on to the crossbar, but couldn't hold on to the ensuing rebound and Spier was there to tap it in just a few feet from goal.

"We didn't start very well on Friday so today the team was really focused on starting well and taking it Washington on our home field," said Utah head coach Rich Manning. "Clearly we did a great job of that. We executed well, we put pressure on them and we were unlucky not to have another goal or two. I was really proud of that. The first half was one of our best performances of the year, no question. Washington is a very good team and they showed their character by pushing back in the second half for sure."

Although the goals are what light up the scoreboard, redshirt freshman goalkeeper Lindsey Luke provided some of the game's most dramatic moments with at least three outstanding saves in the second half. One such stop was fully-outstretched diving effort to her left, stopping an excellent long-range shot from Lindsay Elston. Just a few minutes later, Luke slipped as she tried to set her feet to dive left, recovered to her knees and stretched out just enough to parry it wide off her fingertips.

Luke finished with seven saves in the game and earned her fourth solo shutout of the season. Luke finished the weekend with 17 saves after posting a career-high 10 stops in the 2-1 overtime win against Washington State on Friday. Davidson finished with nine saves for Washington.

"Lindsay was class today," said Manning. "This is her first college season and it's great to see her growing. She is growing in confidence and getting her legs and her game back. She didn't play for over a year, so this is fun to watch. Lindsay Elston can strike a ball as well as anyone in this conference and [Luke] was up to the challenge."

The Utes (7-2-2, 2-1-0 Pac-12) outshot the Huskies (8-3-1, 1-2-0 Pac-12) by a 19-16 margin, with shots-on-goal going 11-7 in Utah's favor. Corner kicks were 8-4 for the Utes, while fouls were whistled 8-7 against the home side.

Utah has now won six consecutive home games and 12 of its last 13 dating back to last year. The Utes are 5-0 at home this season with four shutouts and only one goal allowed.

Utah is back in action Friday as defending NCAA champion Stanford comes to Ute Field for a 2 p.m. kickoff that will be televised live on the Pac-12 Network. The Utes then host California on Sunday at 1 p.m.

WEBER STATE SOCCER: At Ogden, The Wildcats found their way back to the winning side of the ledger. Freshman central defender Brecken Holbrook smashed home an 18-yard shot in the 52nd minute, lifting the Weber State University women's soccer team to a 1-0 victory over in-state rival Southern Utah on Sunday afternoon at Wildcat Soccer Field.

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