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News releasePROVO, Utah - The University of Utah soccer team (10-9-2) saw its MWC tournament run come to an end Thursday in the semifinals at South Stadium in Provo. San Diego State scored a golden goal with less than three minutes remaining in double-overtime to complete a 2-1 come-from-behind victory and end Utah's season.
"I sensed that after we scored we got a little flat," said Utah head coach Rich Manning. "We started losing steam that last 35 minutes. SDSU is a fast-paced team that likes to stretch you so much. They had the benefit of the bye as a top-two seed and it payed off for them."
A very even first half of play ended at 0-0, but for the second straight day the Utes scored in the first five minutes of the second half. First-team all-MWC selection Erin Dalley gave Utah a 1-0 lead on a great hustle and effort play. After Utah played the ball forward into the SDSU box, an Aztec defender's attempted clearance hit Dalley in the face and fell back in front of her. She held off two players who attempted to re-clear it and got a left-footed shot off while falling to the ground. The ball ricocheted off the left goalpost and in for Dalley's team-leading ninth goal of the year.
With less than eight minutes remaining in regulation, SDSU broke through with the game-tying goal. Niki Fernandes found Cat Walker on the right side and Walker hit a very well-place shot to the back post, knotting the game at 1-1.
After a scoreless first overtime period, the Utes came out and created a scoring chance almost immediately in the second overtime, but weren't able to convert. In the 108th minute of game action, a long ball over the top of Utah's defense found a streaking Fernandes down the left side. She collected it, dribbled toward the endline, played a perfect pass across the face of goal and found Sarah Halverson, who struck it home for the game-winning golden goal.
Despite taking the loss, sophomore goalkeeper Hannah Turpen held off the Aztecs for as long as possible, making a career-high 10 saves, including two in the first overtime period. SDSU outshot Utah on the day, 18-10, with shots on goal going 12-5. Aubree Southwick made four saves in the Aztec goal, including one in double-overtime. Corner kicks were 5-4 in favor of SDSU, as were fouls, 14-11.
The game marked the second time this year that Utah and San Diego State played in overtime. The first meeting ended in a 1-1 draw on the Aztecs' home field. The last time they met in the MWC Tournament was in 2004, a game that ended 1-1 after two overtime periods and saw Utah claim the MWC Championship on penalty kicks, 4-3.
Utah finishes the year with an 0-3-2 record in overtime, including two losses at South Stadium.