OREM – Having hosted Utah State on Sunday, the Utah Valley University soccer team remains in-state this week. The Wolverines will first travel north to face Weber State in Ogden Wednesday and then south to Cedar City to take on Southern Utah Saturday. Wednesday's match with WSU kicks off at 3 p.m. at Wildcat Soccer Field, and Saturday's fixture with SUU gets underway at 1 p.m. at Thunderbird Soccer Field.
UVU (1-3-0) had one game last week, falling in overtime to USU on Sunday afternoon, 2-1. For the Wolverines, it was their second-consecutive overtime loss and third loss of the season by a 2-1 score line. The Aggies held a 1-0 advantage late into the second half, but a goal from senior forward Regan Benson leveled the score and eventually forced overtime. UVU, who had lost on an overtime penalty kick at Hawai'i in its previous game, conceded the golden goal to USU in the 96th minute.
Besides the two overtime losses, the Wolverines only other defeat this season came against UTEP on Aug. 17, when the Miners scored the game-winning goal with just 42 seconds remaining in regulation.
Sophomore midfielder Lexi Robison and junior forward Natalie Baker lead UVU in the scoring column, tallying two goals apiece. Benson and junior forward Haley Curtis have also scored this season. On the defensive side, junior defender Lexi Dunn has an assist on the year, and redshirt freshman goalkeeper Jessica Duffin has seen the bulk of the time in goal this season, stopping 24 shots.
Weber State (0-4-0) is winless on the season but has only lost by 1-0 against each of its last three opponents. The first of those close losses came at the hands of fifth-ranked Oklahoma State, a 20th minute goal for the Cowgirls being the difference. Most recently, WSU fell at home to Utah, conceding the match's only goal in the 25th minute.
The Wildcats return defender Bailey Eames and midfielder Kendra Bailey. Both were Second Team All-Big Sky selections a year ago. Junior Ryann Waldman has played all four games for WSU in goal, notching 18 saves on the season.
Last season, WSU defeated UVU 1-0 in Orem. The Wolverines are 1-3-0 all-time against the Wildcats.
Southern Utah (0-4-0), entering its inaugural season in the Big Sky Conference, went 0-2 last weekend at the UC-Riverside Tournament. The Thunderbirds were defeated by UTEP 2-0 on Friday, then lost a 1-0 decision to New Mexico State on Sunday.
Freshman forward Madison Wood has the lone goal for SUU on the season. Senior forward Stacey Brinkman, a Second Team All-Summit League performer last year, leads the team in shots with seven. Senior goalkeeper Charly Booth has played every minute for the Thunderbirds in goal this season and leads the Big Sky with 30 saves.
In 2011, UVU and SUU battled to a 3-3 draw in Orem. The Wolverines lead the all-time series with the Thunderbirds 5-3-2.
UVU returns home next week to host its third consecutive Big Sky opponent when Idaho State visits Orem on Thursday, Sept. 13. That match is the last home one for the Wolverines for over three weeks, as they will give way to a six-game road trip lasting until Oct. 5.
Kellen Hiser is sports information assistant at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.
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