Published May 31, 2023
Written By:  Andrew Mosier


The Utah Surf climbed into second place in the Wasatch Division Saturday beating the Utah Red Devis 4-0 as the opener of a WPSL doubleheader at the Regional Athletic Complex in Salt Lake.

Makinna Winterton, Summer Diamond, Megan Hendricks, and Tiffany Dang scored for the Surf moving them to 1-1-0 after opening the season with a 2-0 loss at the Utah Avalanche.

“We got our feet wet against Avalanche last week, which is a tough draw for your first game of the season,” Brad Silvey, Utah Surf, said. “Defensively we were pretty sound. They broke us down which some incredible, special players. Now our focus is creating goalscoring opportunities, give ourselves the chance to win the game.”

The emphasis Silvey put on the attack was evident early on as the Red Devils, playing its season opener, struggled with the number of players the Surf threw at them from the opening whistle.

Photo By: Andrew Mosier

Just three minutes in, Winterton (Southern Virginia University) took advantage of a defensive error, from a Red Devils team still shaking off some noticeable rust, by dispossessing the defender of the ball before narrowly missing wide of the near post.

Winterton would miss narrowly twice more and have one shot plucked from the upper corner by Red Devils goalkeeper McKayla Wetsel (East Carolina University) before nodding home a cross from Kristine Reynolds to open the scoring in the 20’ minute.

After the goal, adjustments made by Red Devils coach, Dennis Burrows, stemmed the surging Surf through the halftime whistle which came as severe weather sent players and fans alike scurrying for cover – delaying the start of the second half by more than half an hour.

Five minutes after the second half kicked off, it was Winterton being the playmaker this time as she set up Diamond (Utah State University) whose left-footed blast skimmed off the underside of the crossbar.

“Summer [Diamond] is a special player. She’s a difference maker,” Silvey said. “She’s incredibly electric in the attack when she gets into places where she can create and unlock the defense.”

Photo By: Andrew Mosier

Two minutes later Hendricks made it 3-0 for the Surf by collecting the ball in the left channel and cutting back against the defender before tucking it just inside the far post with her right foot.

“We focused this week on generating more goal-scoring opportunities,” Silvey said. “We did that today. We put the ball where it was going to be dangerous. When you do that the goals will follow.”

Dang rounded out the scoring with 10 minutes left to play in the match with an easy finish to a cross from Jen Williams.

“I really liked how we were able to score a number of different ways today, through the wide channels and combination plays centrally,” Silvey said.

Silvey also praised the hardnosed defending of center backs Hanna Reid (Iowa State University) and Kennley Bradley (Texas State University), and goalkeeper Brooklyn Nielsen.

“All three did a great job today keeping things zipped up in the back,” Silvey said. “If we can keep things up on both ends of the field, like we did today, we can compete with anyone in the division.”

Next up for the Surf are debutants Griffins FC (0-1-0) Friday, June 2, followed by the return match versus Avalanche (2-0-0) Saturday, June 3.