Utah Royals

Sentnor, Haught The Heroines As Royals Seal Vital Win

SANDY, Utah (Friday, March 22, 2024) –  Utah Royals FC (1-1-0, 3 pts) The Utah Royals banished the painful memories of its NWSL opening day home defeat with a determined 2-1 home victory against North Carolina Courage at America First Field on Friday, March 22, 2024.

Kate Del Fava netted the first Royals goal of the new expansion era, and Ally Sentnor scored a breathtaking solo effort to cancel out Ashley Sanchez’s equalizer and hand URFC its first win of its inaugural season.

Having suffered a demoralizing defeat in its opening game of its maiden season, URFC came into this match in search of a win to truly kickstart the team’s NWSL campaign. Going up against an NC Courage team that had enjoyed a 5-1 thumping of Houston Dash in their own season opener, the odds seemed firmly stacked against the Royals ahead of kickoff.

The game began as a mostly even contest with neither team really able to enforce its dominance early on resulting in both teams largely canceling each other out at the start. URFC began the game with a strong defensive foundation which gave the team and attacking players the platform and security to be expressive going forward. The team was subsequently rewarded for its brave start in 15th minute when Kate Del Fava rose highest to head home a cross from Paige Monaghan from a corner, to establish a Royals lead on the Wasatch front.

URFC seemed to struggle to assert themselves on their opponents in the aftermath of its opener, and were punished in the 26th minute when a ricocheted ball in the box from a low cross across the face of goal fell to Ashley Sanchez who finished with aplomb to draw NC Courage level.

Utah fans wouldn’t have to wait too long after, however, for their teams second goal, with the goal arriving just four minutes later through a truly breathtaking piece of play from Ally Sentnor. Having received the ball near the halfway line, the 20-year-old embarked on a dazzling multi yard dribble before unleashing a fierce left footed strike into the top left corner to send the home fans into raptures.

In a tightly contested game, NC courage were subsequently awarded two penalties when URFC Players, Agnes Nyberg, and Addisyn Merrick were judged to have fouled their opponents in the box. However, Royals Goalkeeper, Mandy Haught twice stood tall to deny Malia Berkley of NC Courage from the spot, putting her off for the first attempt which rattled the post, and outrightly saving the second attempt to help the Royals hold out for the win.

The win puts the early 2024 Utah Royals season record at 1-1-0 ahead of the team’s next NWSL game against Washington Spirit on March 31, 2024, at Audi Field. Kickoff is at 11:00am MT, with tickets available at

UTA 2 :1  NC


UTA: Kate Del Fava, 15th Minute (Paige Monaghan): Paige Monaghan fires a laser cross to Kate Del Fava at the back post whose header beams past Casey Murphy.

NC: Ashley Sanchez, 26th Minute : After a cross through traffic by Haley Hopkins, the ball lands at the feet of Ashley Sanchez who volleys a shot over Mandy Haught and drops it into the goal.

UTA: Ally Sentnor , 30h Minute (Kaleigh Riehl): Ally Sentnor received a pass from Kaleigh Riehl inside the Royals Half. Sentnor picked up the ball and drove up the left wing, cutting into the halfspace and drawing a defender out. Taking a left footed shot and placing it into the far right side of the goal over the top of the keeper. 


Utah Royals (4-3-3): Mandy Haught; Imani Dorsey (45+3 Addisyn Merrick), Kate Del Fava, Kaleigh Riehl, Madison Pogarch; Agnes Nyberg , Frankie tagliaferri (Brecken Mozingo 66’)  , Dana Foederer( Mikayla Cluff 80’); Paige Monaghan © , Hannah Betfort (Ify Onumonu 66’), Ally Sentnor

Subs not used: Carly Nelson, Emily Gray, Lauren Flynn, Michele Vasconcelos, Cameron Tucker

North Carolina Courage (4-3-3): Casey Murphy; Ryan Williams, Kaleigh Kurtz, Malia Berkely, Felicitas Rauch(Riley Jackson 80’) Ashley Sanchez, Denise O’Sullivan, Narumi Miura( Dani Weatherholt 80’); Tyler Lussi (Biana St-Georges 64’), Manaka Matsukubo (Briana Pinto 72’), Haley Hopkins (Victoria Pickett 73’)

Subs not used: Marisa Bova, Maya McCutcheon,Jenna Winebrenner, Landy Mertz

Stats Summary: UTA / NC

Shots: 2 / 18

Shots on Goal: 2 / 3

Saves: 2 / 7 

Corner Kicks: 2 / 7
Fouls: 12 / 12


UTA: Yellow (Foederer, 17’); Yellow (Betfort 49’ )  Yellow (Mikayla Cluff 90+2’) Yellow (Haught 90+7’) 12 Total Fouls

NC: 12 Total Fouls