HOUSTON -- Sophomore midfielder Lexi Robison recorded a second-half goal and assist, while junior goalkeeper Lauren Sack came through with seven saves as Utah Valley University shutout Great West Conference rival Houston Baptist 2-0 Saturday night at HBU's Sorrels Field.
"We knew HBU would be ready to play coming into the match," UVU head coach Brent Anderson said. "We've never beaten them at their home field and we had a hard time finding the rhythm early. But the team was solid defensively in the second half and our offense made some nice connections and took its opportunities in front of goal. The girls have been playing quality soccer over the last few games and right now I couldn't be more proud of our team."
The match, featuring the last two GWC tournament champions, was scoreless at the intermission. But with HBU (8-6-3, 2-1-0 GWC) holding an 11-5 advantage in shots, the halftime momentum seemed possessed by the home side. Four saves were needed from Sack in the opening 45 minutes, while another shot from the Huskies clanged off the crossbar.
The second half told a different story, however, as the Wolverines (6-10-1, 4-0-0 GWC) ratcheted up the defensive pressure and began to find the pace offensively. Nicole Slater forced one of four saves from HBU keeper Shelby Horn only 53 seconds into the second half. Another save from Sack on the other end kept the score at 0-0, allowing Regan Benson broke through for UVU in the 59th minute.
The senior forward, working off a pass up the right side from Robison, fired a seemingly unstoppable shot that banged in off the far, left post for her team-leading seventh goal on the season.
Over the course of the next four minutes, the Wolverines took aim at goal four times, heightening the offensive rhythm.
The persistence in the attack paid off in the 77th minute when Robison, having already assisted on the first goal, got in on the scoring act herself. Robison had her first attempt blocked by a Husky defender, but she would not be denied a second time, as she gathered in the rebound and lifted her shot off the bottom of the crossbar and in.
The goal, the third on the season for the sophomore midfielder, put the match out of reach as UVU completed the clean sheet for its fifth consecutive win.
"Sack did a great job keeping the team organized in front of her and the back line and midfield just put in a tremendous defensive effort," Anderson added.
The win improves the Wolverines to a perfect 4-0-0 on the conference season and moves them into sole possession of first place in the GWC. UVU will look to clinch its second consecutive GWC regular season title in a home match against Delaware State on Oct. 29.
But before welcoming the Hornets to Orem, the Wolverines host their final non-conference fixture of the year against Montana of the Big Sky Conference on Friday, Oct. 26.
UVU is the host school for the 2012 GWC Tournament, which begins Nov. 2. The Wolverines can wrap up the top seed with a win over DSU on Oct. 29th.
Kellen Hiser is sports information assistant at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.
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