College soccer: UVU cinches first-ever GWC title

Published: Saturday, Oct. 29 2011 10:00 p.m. MDT

OREM — With a Great West Conference championship on the line, Utah Valley used a four-goal second half to defeat South Carolina State, 4-0, and capture the league's first-ever outright regular-season soccer title.

The Wolverines (10-8-1, 5-1) sent five seniors out with a victory in their final home game, including Kaitlyn Thomas and Jaime Lyons, each of whom would score goals for UVU.

"It was a great night. It was Senior Night and the girls were highly motivated. They were ready," UVU head coach Brent Anderson said. "Our defense and goalkeepers communicated and worked really well together. We let ourselves down a little last week and the girls wanted to prove that we were conference champions."

After a scoreless first half that saw just four total shots, Utah Valley was able to open up the game in the final 45 minutes. Still, it was a direct kick by Lexi Dunn that started the scoring. The sophomore booted the ball from 30 yards out over the Bulldog keeper to make it 1-0 in the 55th minute.

Natalie Young added her GWC-leading 10th goal in the 73rd minute, on assists from senior Brianne Larsen Bastian and Lexi Robison, beating the goalkeeper to the ball at the top of the box and scoring on a sliding shot to make it 2-0.

With UVU holding a two-goal lead with just over 14 minutes left, Lauren Sack got her hand on a high shot by Dominique Brown. It was one of four second-half saves for Sack and helped preserve the shutout and keep SCSU (5-8-3, 3-2-1) at bay.

SAN DIEGO 1, BYU 0: At Provo, BYU (10-5-3, 4-2-1) lost in its final home game of the regular season. Elissa Magracia put the lone score on the board for the Toreros.

"It's an extremely disappointing loss," BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. "Our last game here, it was hard to go down this way. You have to play your best at the end of the year and we just struggled today. We didn't have our rhythm."

Elissa Magracia put the lone score on the board for the Toreros, giving San Diego a 1-0 lead in the 34th minute of the second half. The loss snapped BYU's four-game unbeaten streak.

Three Cougars recorded two shots for BYU — sophomore middle fielder Rachel Manning, junior forward Carlee Payneand junior middle fielder Jessica Ringwood.

Not only did Magracia put the solo point on the board, but she also led San Diego with five shots.

Senior McKinzie Olson racked up five saves for BYU, increasing her lead as BYU's all-time career saves leader with 274 total.

Five BYU seniors were honored as part of Senior Day at South Field. The seniors on this year's squad are McKinzie Olson, Lauren Anderson Cosby, Jennie Marshall, Megan Fereday and Nicole Ernst Jackson.

SUU 4, UMKC 1: At Cedar City, Southern Utah (4-11-3, 2-6-0) won its second consecutive match. The Thunderbird offense finished the season strong recording 10 combined goals in the final two games of the year. The recent offensive outburst helped this year's team set new single season records in assists (23), goals (28) and overall points (79).

"Today the girls showed what they are capable of doing," commented head coach Brian Stock after the game. "I am very proud of the way they played."

The Thunderbirds gave their coach plenty to be proud of in the match as they aggressively battled for the ball throughout the day. Southern Utah's pressure lead to their opening score in the 22nd minute when junior forward Shelby Ostler gathered a loose ball in the box and was able to beat the keeper for her fourth goal of the season and put SUU out in front, 1-0.

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