(new) Orem, Utah (May 19, 2012)- The newly named Salt Lake United earned their first season victory in the 2012 Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) season on Saturday, May 19, against in state rivals, the Utah Starzz.
SL United player Annie Hawkins had an unprecedented hat trick (3 goals) to lead the comeback victory, in this tale of two halves. The Utah Starzz came out firing with the first goal of the game in the 20th minute. Hawkins, captain of SL United, provided the answer, putting in her first goal of the game in the 26th minute to even the score. The tie only lasted only a few minutes before the Starzz added two goals late in the first half to take a 3-1 lead into halftime.
After some key tactical adjustments and an increased focus, United came out of the break with an attitude and determination to put some pressure on the Starzz. The team caught fire and goals started coming about midway through the second half as the Starzz could not withstand the pressure from the United attack. In the 60th minute, from a perfect corner by SL United midfielder, Sara Cowley, Hawkins tallied her second goal of the match to put United within one goal of the reeling Starzz. A few minutes later in the 68th minute outside midfielder Erin Morrison, fired a screamer into the side netting that evened the score once again. With SL United firing on all cylinders, Hawkins came through yet again to get the unassisted, game winning goal in the 81st minute. The United defense held down the Starzz attack in the second half, including a few late counter attack efforts in the remaining minutes to secure the 4-3 victory.
“It was our first test with what I feel is our best squad yet.” Salt Lake United head Coach Dennis Burrows comments. “The ladies (SL United) worked hard and there was no stopping our momentum in the second half. Annie Hawkins, Erin Morrison, and Tasha Aiono led the team as captains to a well-earned victory. I am very proud of our team, coaching staff included.”
If this is any indication of what’s to come of SL United this year, fans are in for a real treat. The two in state WPSL teams go head-to-head again this Saturday May 26, at Rio Tinto Stadium kickoff at 3:15pm. Fans can use Real Salt Lake tickets for entry to next Saturdays women’s pregame at Rio Tinto stadium.
Visit www.saltlakeunited.com for more details!