OREM, Utah – Utah Valley University will put its four-match winning streak on the line when it visits Great West Conference rival Houston Baptist at 6 p.m. MT Saturday in the Space City.
The match stands as a battle of GWC unbeatens as neither team has lost a match in the 2012 league campaign.
UVU (6-10-1, 3-0-0 GWC) stayed perfect in conference play with a pair of wins last week. With first half goals from Shalayne Janis and Haley Curtis, the Wolverines took a 3-0 halftime lead at Howard on Thursday and never looked back, winning by the same score line.
For the relative comfort that UVU secured its victory Thursday, it experienced just as much drama in Saturday's 2-1 triumph at South Carolina State. Trailing 1-0 as the match crept into the final ten minutes, Jaime Lyons broke through for the Wolverines in the 82nd minute. The senior's second goal of the year came off a feed from Lexi Robison.
Unsatisfied with the tie, UVU seized the lead 12 seconds later behind the leg of Lexi Dunn. Having regained possession after the kickoff, the Wolverines earned a direct kick after a Bulldog foul 45 yards from goal. Dunn seized the opportunity and drove a hard shot on frame that dipped just inside the upper left corner, sealing the win.
Senior forward Regan Benson still leads UVU in goals this season with six. Natalie Baker and Curtis are second with three goals each. Defenders Dunn and Kelsey Cook have distributed the ball well out of the back, pacing the squad with three assists apiece.
Goalkeeper Lauren Sack picked up both wins this week, improving her record to 3-5-0. The junior has 54 saves and two shutouts on the year.
HBU (8-5-3, 2-0-0 GWC) opened its GWC season with a pair of road wins last week, as well. The Huskies picked up a 1-0 win at SCSU on Thursday before defeating NJIT in Newark 2-0 Saturday.
Sophomore forward Natalie Hager and sophomore midfielder Taylor Gibson, each of whom tallied once last week, lead HBU with seven goals each. The Huskies, the top assist team in the GWC, have gotten a team-high five assists from senior captain Arielle Rodriguez.
Junior goalkeeper Shelby Horn has pieced together an 8-4-2 record in goal for HBU this season, including 71 saves and a 1.04 goals against average. Horn joined Gibson this week in sweeping the GWC Players of the Week honors.
Since its inception in 2009, UVU and HBU have been consistently at the top of the GWC. The Wolverines and Huskies have claimed all three GWC Tournament titles between them, with UVU defeating HBU in the 2009 and 2011 title matches. The Huskies took the tournament championship in 2010 but only after a victory over the Wolverines in the semifinals.
Two of UVU's three losses in the GWC all-time have come at the hands of HBU, but the Wolverines still hold a 5-2-1 series advantage.
The Huskies are 3-2-1 at their home venue of Sorrels Field this season, securing wins over UTSA, Texas Southern and Prairie View A&M.
Saturday marks UVU's final road match in 2012 as the Wolverines return to Orem for a non-conference tilt with Montana before closing out league play against Delaware State.
From there, UVU will host the 2012 GWC Tournament at Clyde Field. Play begins Nov. 2.
Kellen Hiser is sports information assistant at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.