A Nevada defender leaps into the air in an attempt to head the ball. She wears both a white jersey and shorts. Her number is unclear.
Jayme Sileo/Nevada Sagebrush. A Nevada women’s soccer player leaps into the air in an attempted header. 42 percent of the team’s shots have been on goal this season.

Friday, Sept. 13 vs. Utah

Nevada women’s soccer fell to the University of Utah, 2-0, on a mostly neutral field. The game was played at Truckee Meadows Community College’s brand new soccer pitch, part of a new sports complex on the main TMCC campus. 

The Pack set up in a 2-4-4 formation to kick off the contest, a formation defined by the use of four defenders and four midfielders.

Utah’s Holly Daguirda scored in the 12-minute mark of the first half by tapping the ball into the far post, but the Pack fought hard to keep pace with their opponents. Forward Annika Bergstrand was able to charge the goal, seeking to create a play following Daguirda’s score, but was stopped by Utah’s defenders. 

Though Nevada was down at half-time, spirits were high as the Pack warmed up on the sidelines, getting pumped for the second half. 

Nevada challenged Utah on several strong attempts to score, notably by defender Alexis Friesen and forward Madison Taylor. Ultimately, none of these attempts were successful. Junior Mady Hairston nailed a perfect cross, but an attempted head-in could not find the back of the net.

A foul on Daguirda allowed Utah’s Aleea Gwerder to add to their lead with a free kick in the final minutes of the second half to secure the win. Utah dominated in possession for most of the match and had more shots on goal, Utah shot 19 versus the Pack’s six.

Despite the loss, the Wolf Pack shined in certain areas. Nevada goalkeeper Kendal Stovall had six saves, including a couple of stunners in the second half. Her total saves for the season now stands at 33. Nevada freshmen Lizzy Hairston and Lesly Gonzales led the team in shots on goal, with each earning two. 

Sophomore Olivia Carter played a season-high 80 minutes on the pitch. Hannah Souza, Kylie Minamishin, Sara Olanda, Lizzy Hairston and Stovall each stayed on the field for the whole game.

Overall the Wolf Pack hustled and made compelling plays to stay in the game, but their Power Five opponent got the best of them. 

Nevada’s record now stands at 1-5 as they prepare to go into conference play in two weeks. 

The Pack returns to Mackay next Saturday, Sept. 21, to play UC Davis at 6:00 p.m.

Madeleine Chinery can be reached at rfreeberg@sagebrush.unr.edu and on Twitter @SagebrushSports.