OREM — Coming off two losses at the Montana Cup last week, Utah Valley University will look to right the ship in time for WAC play when it hosts UC Davis at 11 a.m. on Sunday at Clyde Field. The fixture is the final non-conference match for UVU as the Wolverines usher in the WAC era next Friday against Bakersfield.
UVU (1-5-0) returns to Orem after a three-game road trip — its longest of the 2013 season. In that time, the Wolverines went 1-2, grabbing a 4-2 win over Idaho State before falling in two matches at the Montana Cup: 1-0 to Houston Baptist and 3-1 to host Montana.
In its Great West Conference reunion with HBU, Utah Valley was unlucky to end the match scoreless. The Wolverines fired a season high 19 shots, 10 of which were on target and two of which caught the woodwork. Chances did not come nearly as easily against UM, however. There, UVU managed only two shots on goal, including Haley Curtis' goal in the 84th minute that allowed the Wolverines to avoid the shutout.
Curtis' late-game header was her third score of the season, a figure that paces the team. Behind the senior forward sits true freshman Taylor Kirk whose two goals came in UVU's win over ISU in Pocatello. Three Wolverines have tallied a single time — Natalie Baker, Sheridan Fox and Kali Stubbs.
Goalkeeper Lauren Sack has seen the bulk of the minutes in goal but split time with sophomore Jessica Duffin at the Montana Cup. Sack continues to lead the WAC with a .750 save percentage and 5.0 saves per game. Through 90 minutes this season, Duffin has two stops to her name.
UC Davis (2-3) arrives in Utah in the midst of a nine-match road trip. The Aggies are 0-2 on the trip thus far, dropping matches to San Francisco and 18th-ranked California, and will face the University of Utah on Friday night in Salt Lake City before visiting Orem on Sunday.
On the season, UC Davis has scored four goals by way of four different goal scorers. Seniors Kiele Argente and Ashley Edwards, as well as freshman Andrea Damian and sophomore Haley Hughes, have each tallied this season. Senior forward Lexi Poppoff does not have a goal this season but leads the Aggies with 10 shots. Sienna Drizin, a sophomore forward, was a second team all-Big West performer last season.
Taylor Jern, a junior goalkeeper, has played every minute of the 2013 season. She is second in the Big West Conference with 20 saves and has a .714 save percentage.
UC Davis is returning 10 starters from a squad that went 8-9-2 last season, finishing in a tie for sixth in the Big West. Utah Valley has never defeated the Aggies, falling in all three previous meetings by a combined score of 10-3. For UC Davis, Sunday marks its first visit to Orem since the 2004 season.
UVU will have five days to prepare for one of its most significant matches in program history — the WAC opener against Bakersfield. That match is scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff at Clyde Field on Friday, Sept. 20. The Wolverines defeated the Roadrunners, 1-0, in a non-conference game last season.
Kellen Hiser is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.