The Tooele girls soccer team has managed to avoid becoming too discouraged during a tough stretch that has seen the Buffaloes lose all of their Region 10 games so far.
However, on Wednesday, there were signs that the lack of success on the scoreboard is starting to take its toll on a young Tooele squad. The Buffs looked overwhelmed at times, losing 4-0 to Uintah for their eighth consecutive defeat – and their second in a row by at least four goals, after losing 4-3 in overtime to the Utes the first time the teams met last month in Vernal.
Tooele (3-9, 0-8 Region 10) had a chance to get on the board right off the opening kickoff, as the desire to play fast nearly led to a breakaway for Buffaloes senior Makenna McCloy. Cecily Wolfe had a long shot turned aside in the ninth minute, but after that, the Utes (5-5, 4-4) took control of the match.
Tooele senior goalkeeper Maddy Lyman was under fire virtually the entire first half, with Madi Dart, Katelyn Seitz, Karly Wiseman and Delaynee McKeachnie all getting wide-open looks at the Tooele net that just missed the target after miscues by the Buffs’ defense. It wasn’t until the 39th minute that the Utes finally broke through, as they knocked the ball away from Lyman and Wiseman put it in. The Utes went into halftime with a 1-0 lead, and Lyman came away with a cleat mark on her arm to show for it after the scramble in front of her net.
Wiseman’s goal opened the floodgates for the Utes. Dart doubled Uintah’s lead just three minutes into the second half, chipping the ball past Lyman as the Utes transitioned from defense to offense. The Buffaloes had a chance to cut the lead to one in the 63rd minute on a breakaway by McCloy, but her first shot was saved by Uintah goalkeeper Lakyn Hansen and and her rebound glanced off the right goalpost.
Eight minutes later, McKeachnie scored from a sharp angle to extend the Utes’ lead to 3-0. Shaylee Avila capped the scoring in the 74th minute, tapping in a crossing pass at the left post.
Tooele has four matches left in the regular season, and trails Ben Lomond and Juan Diego by six points (2 1/2 games) for fifth place in Region 10. The Buffaloes play host to Juan Diego next Wednesday, with a road game against Ogden (Sept. 30), a home game against Stansbury (Oct. 2) and a road game against Ben Lomond (Oct. 7) also on the schedule.