UVU soccer: The UVU women's soccer team faces a pair of WAC schools this weekend

By Kellen Hiser

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Sept. 20 2012 11:04 a.m. MDT

OREM — The Utah Valley University soccer team winds up the first leg of its six-game road swing this weekend, visiting a pair of WAC schools. UVU will face Idaho at 4 p.m. on Friday then travel west to the Emerald City for a meeting with Seattle University at 1 p.m. MT Sunday.

While no live stats will be available for Friday's match, live stats for Sunday's match with SU can be accessed through the UVU website.

Last week, the Wolverines (1-6-1) suffered a pair of tough losses, falling twice in overtime. Trailing 1-0 for most of the second half to Idaho State Thursday night, Jaime Lyons netted the tying goal for UVU with a little over two minutes left in regulation. The dramatic goal gave the Wolverines the momentum heading into the extra frame, but it was ISU that found the game-winner in the 97th minute.

A similar comeback was needed on Sunday as UVU fell behind at Wyoming 2-0 by the 13th minute. But when Regan Benson converted a penalty kick in the 32nd minute, the Wolverine offense caught fire. Benson scored again off a feed from Janis one minute later, and Natalie Baker tallied again for UVU in the 37th minute to cap a sequence of three goals over a five-minute span. UW would equalize early in the second half, though, and went on to grab a 4-3 win in overtime.

With two more overtime contests last week, the Wolverines have seen five of their last six matches extend into the extra period. UVU is 0-4-1 in those games, with the lone draw coming against Southern Utah on Sept. 8.

Baker and Benson lead the Wolverines with three goals apiece, while Haley Curtis and Lexi Robison have two. Defender Lexi Dunn and midfielder Janis top the squad in assists with two each. After missing much of the early season with an injury, Lauren Sack has started each of the last three games in goal for UVU, putting together a 0-2-1 record in that span.

Idaho is 2-8-0 on the year and has dropped its last six matches after a 2-2-0 start. The Vandals faced two teams from the Evergreen State last week, losing 2-0 to Eastern Washington and 5-1 to Washington State.

Sunday's match with WSU saw Idaho fall behind 1-0 only 21 seconds into the match, but the Vandals responded, tying the game on a Katie Baran goal in the 19th minute. But three Cougar goals in the second half pushed WSU well in front, and the Pac-12 member came away with a 5-1 win.

Idaho is 2-2-0 at Guy Wicks Field, picking up home wins over South Dakota and North Dakota State.

"Playing at Idaho is always a bit tricky," UVU head soccer coach Brent Anderson said. "They are very good at home and getting a result there will be a good challenge for us."

Leading the Vandals in the scoring column is senior forward Chelsea Small with three goals. Meli Cortez, a freshman midfielder, is right behind her with two. Goalkeeper Liz Boyden has started every match for Idaho and has 48 saves on the season.

UVU leads the all-time series with the Vandals, 3-2-0. The Wolverines were 1-0 victors in last year's meeting on a neutral field at the Nike Cup in Missoula, Mont.

Seattle University (4-4-0) is also entering the week off a pair of close losses. The Redhawks went on the road to face two Pac-12 foes last weekend, coming up short against Oregon, 2-1, on Friday and Oregon State, 1-0, on Sunday.

Senior midfielder Taylor Bolibol scored her first goal of the season in the loss to Oregon.

Seattle has pieced together a 3-1-0 home record thus far, defeating St. Mary's, Eastern Washington and Portland State at Championship Field, and is ranked No. 10 in the West region in the NSCAA poll.

"Seattle is a good team that is well organized," Anderson said. "We'll certainly have our work cut out for us up there."

Sophomore forward Taylor Ritzman, a native of Holladay, Utah, has four goals on the year to lead the Redhawks, followed by three from senior forward Melissa Busque. Monique Escalera, a junior defender, paces the team in assists with three. Goalkeeper Brianna Smallridge has 32 saves and is allowing 0.97 goals per game.

UVU has never beaten SU, trailing in the series 0-3-0. The two schools last met on the pitch in 2010 with the Redhawks taking the match 2-1 in Seattle.

SU will face No. 19 Portland of the West Coast Conference Friday night before welcoming the Wolverines on Sunday.

Following this week's matches, the Wolverines return to Utah County for its final in-state match of the season. UVU heads to Provo to face No. 12 BYU Cougars on Thursday, Sept. 27. From there, the Wolverines head to Los Angeles to face Loyola Marymount the following Sunday.

Kellen Hiser is sports information assistant at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.

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