OREM -- Having split a pair of matches at the OHANA Hotels & Suites No Ka Oi last week, the Utah Valley University soccer team returns home to Clyde Field where it will host reigning WAC champion Utah State on Sunday. The match will kick off at 1 p.m.
The Wolverines (1-2-0) picked up their first win of 2012 last Wednesday in the first leg of the No Ka Oi, defeating Sacred Heart of the Northeastern Conference 3-2. UVU got goals from Lexi Robison, Natalie Baker and Haley Curtis and weathered a late push from the Pioneers to secure the victory.
Sunday's championship match pitted the Wolverines against host school Hawai'i. After both sides scored a goal in the first five minutes of the game, the two teams carried a 1-1 score line all the way into a second overtime. With the match headed toward a draw, the host Rainbow Wahine snatched a late win when they scored the golden goal off a penalty kick in the 103rd minute.
For their efforts in Hawai'i, Robison and junior defender were named Great West Conference Players of the Week. Robison finished the tournament with two goals and an assist, while Dunn also tallied an assist amidst her defensive responsibilities.
Robison's two goals tie her with junior forward Baker for the team lead. On the defensive side, UVU's backline anchors, senior Kelsey Kimball Cook and Dunn, each have assists to their names. Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Jessica Duffin has seen the majority of the minutes in goal this season and has posted 20 saves over three games.
Utah State (3-0-1), a 2011 NCAA Tournament participant, is unbeaten on the young season and is coming off a road trip to Nebraska last weekend. While in the Cornhusker State, the Aggies drew 1-1 with Creighton on Friday before knocking off Nebraska-Omaha 3-1 on Sunday. Junior forward Mari Miyashiro scored twice in Sunday's win, earning her WAC Player of the Week honors from College Sports Madness.
Miyashiro and junior midfielder Jennifer Flynn lead USU with two goals apiece. Senior defender Natalie Norris, who was named Preseason Defensive Player of the Year by the WAC, also has one goal on the year. Jeannie Woller and Ashlyn Mulford have split the goalkeeping duties, with the latter posting 14 saves thus far.
The Aggies host Northern Colorado Friday evening before traveling to Orem on Sunday.
UVU is 1-3-0 all-time against USU and last faced the team in 2010.
Following Sunday's action, the Wolverines stay in state for their next two matches, traveling to Weber State on Sept. 5, then visiting Southern Utah on Sept. 8.
Kellen Hiser is sports information assistant at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.
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