Soccer gets first draw of season against Utah


Courtesy of UA Athletics

Alabama midfielder Reyna Reyes (16) makes a pass in the Crimson Tide’s 1-1 draw against the Utah Utes at Ute Field in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Will Miller, Staff Reporter

The Alabama soccer team fought hard from behind against The University of Utah at Ute Field in the second game of the Utah road trip. For their efforts, they earned a late goal and a 1-1 final to move to four straight matches without a loss. 

Reyna Reyes scored her first goal of the campaign in the 88th minute off a corner from Felicia Knox, squaring a contest that was fast approaching its end. The Utes (3-1-2) scored their goal in the third minute when Taliana Kaufusi found the back of the net for the third time this season.  

The Crimson Tide (4-1-1) possessed the ball better in the second half than the first. The second half was largely contested in Utah’s half of the pitch, with numerous opportunities for creating scoring situations. 

In the matchup with Brigham Young University, Alabama did not score in the second half at all, despite tallying three goals. There was no such first half explosion on Sunday largely because sustained possession was not as prevalent in the first half.  

What Alabama did well against BYU is what Utah did well against Alabama. The defense was on point, and if anything, it seemed like the better looks that emerged, the more definite the stop. Midfielder Kat Rogers had an excellent look at tying the game in the 73rd minute, only for Utah goalkeeper Evie Vitali to save it. 

Before Reyes scored, that was the best chance the Crimson Tide had at getting on the board. 

Alabama had 16 shots in the match, with six on goal. This was well ahead of Utah’s five, and two on goal. All it takes to change a match is one. 

Alabama continued to get corners all together, with 10 to Utah’s one. Senior midfielder Macy Clem said that after the win over The University of Southern Mississippi, the team has been good at getting corners, but not capitalizing. They did on Sunday. 

McKinley Crone had one save. Vitali had five but was asking for more help after Rogers’s shot. The maintained possession had begun to get to the Utes. 

Down to its last gasp, the Crimson Tide broke through and secured the tie. 

“I thought we dominated large stretches of the game tonight,” head coach Wes Hart said. “Incredibly proud of the way our team kept fighting till the end. What a great goal we scored, and if we had five more minutes, I believe we would score again.” 

He added that he was not excited about the tie but will take it given the score with two minutes left. He said his team played with more urgency and determination in half number two. 

After Sunday’s result, the Crimson Tide has one game left to play in Utah. That will be against Utah Valley University in Orem. 

“We’ve asked a lot of our team playing three quality teams in extreme heat and altitude,” Hart said. “If we can get out of Utah with two wins and a draw, I’d say it was a pretty successful trip. But UVU certainly won’t make it easy.” 

The match will kick off on Tuesday at noon CT on ESPN+.

Questions or comments? Email Austin Hannon (Sports Editor) at [email protected]