ORANGEBURG, S.C. -- Junior Lexi Dunn converted a free kick from 45 yards in the 82nd minute, only 12 seconds after senior Jaime Lyons had tied the score, to lift Utah Valley University to a 2-1 Great West Conference victory over South Carolina State Saturday night at SCSU's Oliver C. Dawson stadium.
"There was a lot of emotion for SCSU tonight with it being Senior Night and they came to play," UVU head coach Brent Anderson said. "They made it difficult for us to find a rhythm, but with about 20 minutes left we calmed down and started getting some good movement that helped us get the goals we needed."
Trailing 1-0 to SCSU (7-8-0, 1-2-0 GWC) and entering the final 10 minutes of play, the Wolverines (5-10-1, 3-0 GWC) got a great buildup when Natalie Baker sent a ball forward to Lexi Robison. Robison nodded a pass forward to Lyons who got free and fired a shot past the keeper to knot the score at 1-1.
Then, only 12 seconds after the kickoff to resume play, UVU regained possession and earned a free kick after a Bulldog foul. Dunn stepped up to the ball and drove a hard shot that dipped just inside the upper left corner for the dramatic game-winning goal.
"This was a very important win," continued Anderson. "It keeps us undefeated in conference play heading into what I expect to be a very tough match with Houston Baptist next weekend."
The goal was the first on the season for Dunn, while Lyons' equalizer marked her second tally this year.
Goalkeeper Lauren Sack finished with 7 saves in the contest.
UVU fell behind 1-0 in the 11th minute when SCSU defender Stephanie Searle took a pass from Bianca Barrio and fired a shot toward goal. The ball ricocheted off a Wolverine defender and into the net to give the Bulldogs an early lead.
The score was the third on the year for Searle, while reigning GWC Offensive Player of the Week Barrio picked up her team-leading sixth assist.
UVU will play its final road match of the year when it travels to Houston Baptist next Saturday. That match will kick off at 6 p.m. MT. From there, the Wolverines return home for a non-conference fixture with Montana before closing out GWC play against Delaware State. UVU is this year's host of the GWC Tournament which begins Nov. 2 in Orem.
Kellen Hiser is sports information assistant at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.
Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company