SALT LAKE CITY – Freshman midfielder Avery Ford delivered the game-winning goal for Utah women’s soccer (3-4-1) Friday night as the Utes took down Weber State (1-6-0) by a 1-0 score at Ute Field.
Ford became the third freshman to score her first career goal this year and the second to register a game-winner.
With the scored knotted at 0-0 in the 51st minute of play, Ford collected a Wildcat turnover nearly 35 yards from goal and stepped up and blasted a shot that snuck underneath the crossbar. Ford’s goal marks the fourth consecutive scored by a freshman, a run that spans three games.
“I’ve been working on that shot in practice, so I just had to focus and hit it,” said Ford. “It feels really good and it definitely gives me confidence.”
Senior goalkeeper Hannah Turpen made a tremendous diving save with less than seven minutes remaining to preserve the win and log her first shutout of the year.
Jessie Baddley, arguably Weber State’s most dangerous player and a long-range specialist, took a free kick just outside the penalty box, but Turpen made the stop.
Baddley finished with a game-high seven shots.
Turpen finished the game with three saves, while her Weber State counterpart, Ryann Waldman, recorded four.
Weber State has now been shut out in five of its six losses on the year, all by 1-0 scores.
Weber State out-shot Utah overall, 17-15, but shots on goal were 6-3 in the Utes’ favor. Corner kicks were 6-5 for Utah, while fouls were whistled 8-5 against the Utes.
“Other than the win, I think our biggest positive was that we did a good job finishing the game,” said Utah head coach Rich Manning. “We have had trouble finishing games and grinding it out. We have dropped a few at the end this year, but this time we held our lead and did a pretty good job when Weber State was pushing forward trying to get the tying goal.
"Learning to manage games is something our young team needs to improve on and we took a positive step in that direction tonight.”
Utah is back in action Sunday, Sept. 18 at 1 p.m. as the Utes host Idaho State, which enters the game with a 3-4-2 record after tying New Mexico State on Friday, 1-1.
This story is an official publication of UtahUtes.com.