OREM -- For the second consecutive game, the Utah Valley University soccer team was defeated in overtime, this time falling to Utah State, 2-1, Sunday afternoon at Clyde Field. The Wolverines dropped an overtime decision by the same score line a week ago against Hawai'i.
"We seem to keep losing games in the last minute or in overtime. I've got to figure that out as a coach and train them better for late game situations," UVU head soccer coach Brent Anderson said. "We knew Utah State would be motivated coming in and I thought our defense did a good job of limiting their opportunities and giving us a chance. But we've got to take care of business at the end."
USU (4-1-1), who entered the match off a loss to Northern Colorado on Friday night, opened the scoring in the 28th minute when Jade Tarver was able to break past the UVU (1-3-0) defense and place her shot into the lower right corner. The goal was just the second shot of the game for the Aggies at that point, and their first on goal.
Facing an early deficit, the Wolverines relied on their back line to keep the game close. Several USU chances in the attacking third were turned away, highlighted by a kick-save from goalkeeper Jessica Duffin late in the first half that would have pushed the advantage to two goals.
UVU's patience and resilience finally paid off late in the second half when, following a failed clearance from the Aggies, senior defender Nicole Slater fired a low shot into the box. The shot was deflected by a USU defender but fell right to the feet of senior forward Regan Benson, who lifted the equalizer from 14 yards into the upper left corner at 77:04.
Benson's tally, her first of the season, pushed the game into the extra frame. After the Wolverine defense held firm on a pair of corner kicks early in the overtime, the Aggies got another set piece opportunity when they won a free kick just past midfield. Taryn Rose sent a high direct kick to the far post where it found the head of Kendra Pemberton. Pemberton's header sailed back across the mouth of goal and just past the fingers of Duffin for the game-winning goal.
Junior defender Lexi Dunn and Benson played all 96 minutes for UVU.
The Wolverines lost in similar fashion last Sunday, when a Hawai'i penalty kick in the second overtime ended the game.
Of UVU's three losses, two have come in overtime with the third coming at the hands of a last-second, game-winning goal from UTEP on Aug. 17.
The Wolverines remain in state for its next two matches, traveling to face Weber State on Wednesday, followed by a trip to Cedar City to face Southern Utah on Saturday.
Kellen Hiser is sports information assistant at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.
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