The Utes are coming off their eighth NCAA tournament appearance in 2019. Utah was one of nine teams in the Pac-12 to earn a berth to the NCAA Championships after closing the year with a win over No. 21 Washington and Colorado.
The 2019 team was led by six senior starters that carried the bulk of minutes for Utah, including Tavia Leachman and Carly Nelson, named to the All-Pacific Region team.
After losing 14 letterwinners from a year ago, Utah will feature a reshaped team in the spring of 2021. Among the veterans, junior defender/midfielder Hailey Stodden started every game last season, while midfielders Courtney Talbot and Jessica Hixson both started 17 games.
Sophomore midfielder Hanah Olsen was a 5A All-State selection at Brighton High School. Junior forward Ann Escobedo played 10 games and started two in 2019, registering six shots. She scored the first goal of career for a game-winner versus San Diego. Junior Haley Farrar played seven games and notched two shots, one each against Utah State and Nevada.
Utah soccer added 10 freshmen to this year's squad. Hailey Povilus and Erin Bridges were teammates at East High School in Salt Lake City, while Taliana Kaufusi was another local standout at Highland High School.
Hailey Skolmoski and Tavia Leachman were invited to the 2017 U.S. Under-23 Women's National Team camp.
Utah soccer traveled to Germany for three matches during a 10-day stretch in May 2017. The Utes traveled to a number of cities including Frankfurt, Munich and Augsburg while also making a jaunt into the Alps. Utah played matches against SC Opel 06 Ru¨sselheim, MTV Dießen and FC Staad. The team also took in a Bundesliga match between FC Augsburg and Hamburger SV, visited a TSV Hoffenheim practice at its training ground, and took a tour of the Allianz Arena, home of German champion Bayern Munich.
Meet members of the Utah soccer team and find out what being a Ute is all about.
Hideki Nakada was named the third head coach in Utah women’s soccer history on May 27, 2021, and will take the helm of his own program for the first time after spending the last seven seasons at powerhouse Stanford. The former goalkeeper also spent the last three seasons as the associate head coach.
In his seven years on The Farm, Nakada helped guide the Cardinal to two National Championships (2017, 2019) and five-consecutive Pac-12 Championships. During his seven seasons, Stanford compiled a 132-15-10 overall record with a dominating 66-6-4 mark in the Conference of Champions with four College Cup appearances.
The Cardinal won their third national title in 2019 thanks to their goalkeeper Katie Meyer, who saved two penalty kicks in the title-deciding shootout against No. 2 North Carolina. Stanford also set a school record that year with 102 goals while finishing with a 24-1-0 record.
During Stanford’s second national title run, goalie Alison Jahansouz allowed just seven goals under the direction of Nakada. The 2017 squad also outscored opponents 91-8 while the Cardinal trailed a total of 8:59 minutes that season. Jahansouz’s seven goals allowed in 2017 ranked fifth in program history while the Cardinal’s .360 goals against average ranked fifth in the country that year.
While on staff, Nakada helped Stanford earn NSCAA Pacific Region Staff of the Year in 2016 and was named the 2015 NSCAA Pacific Region Assistant Coach of the Year.
Prior to his time on The Farm, Nakada spent the 2013 season at Oregon as an assistant, serving as the team’s defensive coach and recruiting coordinator. Nakada started his collegiate career at Idaho State (2006-08), where he spent three seasons, and led the Bengals to the 2006 Big Sky regular-season and tournament championships and NCAA Tournament appearance. Prior to his stint at Idaho State, Nakada served as an assistant coach for the George Washington High School soccer team in San Francisco. He then went on to Marquette for four seasons (2009-12) and helped guide the Golden Eagles to the NCAA Tournament each year he was there.
His experience extends outside of the college coaching ranks as well. Nakada has been a member of the Region II ODP coaching staff since 2010. Beginning in 2012, Nakada was named to the US Club Soccer id2 National Camp coaching staff. He also joined the goalkeeping coaching staff at Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) Player Development Program in 2012.
Nakada played soccer at the University of San Francisco for two season (2001-02) and earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology in 2005.
"Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing."
"After graduating, I spent six years chasing my dream all over the world. Utah has always been a special place for me, not just because I played here but because it became my true home. I have always known I wanted to coach and envisioned this path. I am ready to get to work and put all I have into this program because I want to help these amazing student-athletes achieve their dreams."
"I am excited for this opportunity to be working with the University of Utah this season. I cannot wait to get going with this coaching staff and goalkeeper group."