SANDY—Even just on Tuesday, Utah Royals FC’s playoff hopes were alive with only one game left in the squad’s inaugural campaign.
That night, however, the Chicago Red Stars beat winless Sky Blue FC 5-0 to secure the fourth and final National Women’s Soccer League postseason berth, eliminating URFC and thus leaving nothing but pride to play for in its season finale on Saturday afternoon against the Red Stars at Rio Tinto Stadium.
“It was frustrating for me that we put ourselves in that position,” URFC head coach Laura Harvey said of having another team controlling her side’s future. “I think we had enough opportunities to make it in our own hands ... obviously leading into that game on Tuesday, you have that hope that this could be the one for Sky Blue, and honestly I wished it for them more than I did for us in some ways.”
While a win Saturday won’t change the fact that it’ll be URFC’s final game of 2018, Harvey and company want to come away with a win against a Chicago team that spoiled its April home opener, has beat it twice on the season and took that final playoff spot.
“I think it’s really important that we go out there and try and put on a good performance and get three points,” Harvey said. “I think that’s something that we’re focused on...we’re just looking forward to getting out in front of the fans again for one final time and hopefully we can put a show on that they’re proud of.”
Midfielder Desiree Scott echoed those sentiments.Comment on this story
“I think we’re disappointed, but I think it’s awesome that we get to finish our season at home in front of our fans, and we want to get nothing but three points and to finish strong,” she said. “No one wants to end the season on a low note, and plus we’re playing Chicago, so it’s kind of funny because that’s the playoff team that we were trying to beat. You want to go into the offseason feeling like you took a step forward.”
Given that URFC has been so good defensively this season (it is third in the league in fewest goals allowed), defender Moros said the squad wants in particular to end the campaign with a strong performance in that department.
“That’s kind of been our mentality, so we definitely want to leave on a high defensive note,” she said, “and we’d like to win this game.”
First kick is set for 1:30 p.m. MT.