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College soccer: UVU cinches first-ever GWC title

Published: Saturday, Oct. 29 2011 10:23 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.

A foul call on the Kangaroos in the 40th minute would set up Southern Utah's second goal of the match. The Thunderbirds were able to put a well-placed free kick in the box where the ball bounced around until senior midfielder Riley Bassett played it to Vanessa Lilii who tapped one in for her first goal as a T-Bird. With the pass Bassett set a new mark for SUU with her sixth assist this season and is also the school's all-time leader in the category with 12 in her career. The match would also see another Thunderbird pick up their first goal for SUU as Amanda Humphreys took the ball from the UMKC goalkeeper and put it away to give Southern Utah a 3-0 advantage at the break.

The Thunderbirds continued the attack from the very start of the second half. Junior forward Stacey Brinkman took the opening kickoff and played the ball to Bassett. The senior midfielder fired a shot from just across the midfield line that bounced just in front of and then up and over the UMKC goalkeeper. The ball found the back of the net to give Southern Utah its fourth goal of the game.

"We worked on that play earlier this year and that was an unbelievable goal," stated Stock. "I was happy to see Riley being aggressive and she has really learned to look to score."

UMKC would break up the shutout with less than ten minutes remaining in the match as Kaely Tott connected with Allision Schau for a header on a corner kick to set the final score a 4-1 in favor of SUU.

The victory was a special one for Southern Utah, which honored three seniors before the game. Midfielders Elyse Osborne, Riley Bassett and defender Allyson Duda all completed outstanding careers for the Thunderbirds.

"In recruiting I work to bring in good individuals who are all unique and special in different ways," said Stock of his seniors. "Those three have all been a spark and a presence on this team throughout their careers."

With the defeat UMKC will take a conference record of 6-2-1 into the

Summit League Tournament next week. Southern Utah finishes the year with a final record of 4-11-3 while going 2-6-0 in league play.

UTAH STATE GOES FOR WAC TITLE: At Logan, Utah State women's soccer will conclude the regular season hosting Fresno State on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Aggies have a chance to clinch its third Western Athletic Conference regular-season title in four years on Sunday with a win or a tie. USU has claimed WAC titles in 2008 and a share of the title in 2010.

USU (13-4-1, 4-1-1) will honor its five seniors Molli Merrill, Summer Tillotson, Shantel Flanary, Marissa Sanchez and Chandra Salmon-Christensen prior to the match against the Bulldogs.

The Aggies have won five straight matches, which is their second streak of that length this season. The Aggies tied a school record with their 13th win of the season. This is the first time that USU has reached the 13-win mark during the regular season as the 2008 team earned its 13th win at the WAC Tournament.

Fresno State is the only team in the WAC that Utah State doesn't have a winning record against, holding a 2-6-2 record against the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs (10-4-4, 4-1-1) have WAC wins against Nevada, Idaho, San Jose State and Louisiana Tech along with a tie against New Mexico State and a loss at Hawai'i. Callie Hancock leads the Bulldog offense with 11 goals and three assists for 25 points. Katie DeVault has started 16 of Fresno State's 17 matches this season. She has allowed 21 goals in 17 matches for a 1.18 GAA. She has 100 saves this season.

With two assists against Idaho on Oct. 21, Flanary tied Aggie-great Lindsey Smart (2006-09) with 15 career assists. The senior added a goal in the Aggies' win against San Jose State to lead the team with 10 goals. Flanary now has 83 career points which puts her one behind Lauren Hansen (2007-10) in career points. Hansen set the record of 84 last season.

Following the conclusion of the regular season, Utah State will prepare for the WAC Tournament which will be held in Fresno, Calif. Nov. 3-4, 6. The Aggies will be either the No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the tournament.

Mens soccer

ST. GEORGE — The Red Storm dropped their second consecutive match Saturday to Notre Dame de Namur 1-0 at Dixie High Schools Flyer Field.

In the 37th minute, the Argonauts' Frank Barnes found the net when he headed in a shot off the cross bar from four yards out. His third goal of the season gave NDNU the lead.

Trailing 1-0 at the half, the Red Storm came out and forced the ball up the field.

In the 58th minute of the match, DSCs Joshua Cook earned a red card and forced the Red Storm to play the final 32 minutes a man down.

Despite playing short, Dixie State still outshot NDNU in the second half 9-7. For the match NDNU had 16 shots to DSCs 13.

Dixie State drops to 8-6-2 overall and 7-3 in the PacWest and NDNU improves to 10-6 overall and 6-4 in the PacWest.

The Red Storm will play their final home game on Thursday evening at Hansen Stadium when they host Grand Canyon University on senior night at 7 p.m.

WESTMINSTER 1, EMBRY-RIDDLE 0: At Prescott, Ariz., Dennis Sellis scored the games only goal in the 75th minute in the Griffins (9-8-1, 4-3-1) final game of the regular season.

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