LOS ANGELES — A late, second-half surge came up just short for the Utah Valley University soccer team, as it dropped a 3-2 decision to Loyola Marymount Sunday afternoon at Sullivan Field.
Trailing 3-0 with only 25 minutes to play, UVU (1-10-1) got on the board with a Regan Benson strike in the 60th minute. The senior volleyed home a headed pass from Lexi Felis off a set piece to keep the Wolverines alive.
LMU (6-3-2) kept UVU off the board for the next 20 minutes, but McKell Salmon renewed the Wolverines' comeback hopes. Nicole Slater drove a shot on goal that was pushed out by LMU's Jagger. The deflection fell straight to Salmon, though, whose shot into the open net made the score 3-2 in the 84th minute.
The goal was the first of the year for the sophomore midfielder.
UVU fought frantically for the equalizer in the final minutes, but Felis' shot in the waning seconds flew wide, finalizing the 3-2 score.
Junior Tawni Martino scored twice and added an assist for the Lions, who outshot the Wolverines 21-10 in the match.
LMU got off to a quick start, finding the net at 3:03 when Jocelyn Blankenship scored from the top of the box on a feed from Tawni Martino. Martino got into the scoring act eight minutes later when she took a through ball from Darien Pyka and beat goalkeeper Lauren Sack into the left corner.
Lexi Robison had a chance to tie the match in the sixth minute, but her shot, coming from a Jaime Lyons corner kick, was stopped by LMU goalie Brittany Jagger. Haley Curtis provided the Wolverines' only other shot on goal in the first half when her shot in the 24th minute forced another save.
The Wolverines had three more shots turned away in the last 45 minutes, with Jagger keeping out shots from Benson and Lyons and a bending corner kick from Salmon lifted off the line by a Lion defender for an LMU team save.
Martino scored what proved to be the game-winner in the 56th minute, this time firing a shot from the left side of the box that slipped through Sack's hands.
UVU will play the final game of its midseason, six-game road swing Tuesday as it remains in the Golden State for a 2 p.m. matchup with CSU Bakersfield. From there, the Wolverines return to Orem to begin defense of its 2011 Great West Conference title. NJIT visits Clyde Field Friday night at 7 p.m. in the GWC opener for both squads.
Kellen Hiser is sports information assistant at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.
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