Utah Tops Southern California in Overtime

Utah beat the USC Trojans in the first overtime of their first game of the 2014 season off a goal by Senior Midfielder Cody Cantrell. Cantrell took the ball from the wing, dodged, beat his man and took it to the center of the field where he shot it past the USC goalie for the 10-9 win.

"We had lost a few possessions in overtime," said Cantrell. "I didn't want to give them any more chances so we just ran the play Coach Kladis drew up for us. He said if we ran it, good things would happen."

The game started slow for both teams who were clearly shaking off the rust. Scoring began at the 12:30 mark when Utah Midfielder Bennett Jonas caught a pass from Dillon Tran with time and space. Jonas shot a low underhand shot that hit the back of the net to give Utah an early lead. Play dragged on while both teams struggled to find their offensive rhythms. USC tied the game at the 5:05 mark, making the score 1-1, which would be how the first quarter ended

The second quarter was evenly contested in what felt like a teeter-toter game. USC took a 3-2 lead with 3:58 left in the half. Utah then went on a three goal run with goals by Nash Cantrell, Tyler Grogg and Luke Graney. The goal for Graney was his first MCLA goal and gave Utah a 5-3 lead. With time expiring in the half, USC was able to bounce a shot in that hit the net as time expired to make the score 5-4 for Utah at halftime.

The Ute defense was caught off-guard at the beginning of the quarter, allowing USC to score two quick goals. Utah only scored one goal in the third quarter when Yusuke Yamanaka scored on an alley shot. USC then scored late in the third to make the score 7-6 for the Trojans.

The fourth quarter saw Utah score twice, then USC score twice. The Utes tied the game at 9 at the 4:53 mark when Nash Cantrell scored for Utah. In the overtime period, Utah won the face-off and then took it to their box and called timeout. The Utes turned the ball over and USC took it the distance but their shot was blocked. Utah hustled to back it up, giving the ball back to the Utes. Utah was able to work the ball around in their offensive half when the ball landed with Cody Cantrell who took it to the hole for the game-winner.

Utah won 18 of 20 face-offs while goalie Jeff Nielsen had 18 saves for the Utes.

"Jeff single-handedly kept our team in the game," said Kladis. "Great goalie play and winning most of the face-offs really helped us out."

Utah takes on No. 3 Arizona State on Sunday, February 15 at 9:30am Pacific Time.

2014-02-15



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