SEATTLE — Utah Valley University suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of WAC unbeaten Seattle University on Friday night at SU's Championship Field.
In first place and undefeated in league play, SU (10-2-2, 7-0-0 WAC) wasted little time getting on the board to start the match. Junior and defending WAC Player of the Year Stephanie Verdoia tallied 76 seconds after the opening whistle to put the home side in front. The goal pushed the Salt Lake City native's scoring streak to seven games.
"We put ourselves in a hole right from the start," UVU head coach Brent Anderson said. "It is fatiguing to have to chase the game from the beginning like that."
Verdoia doubled her money in the second half, scoring at the 49:00 mark to lift the Redhawks to a 2-0 lead, and Natasha Howe added a third when she cleaned up a scrum in front of goal in the 89th minute.
The Redhawks have now won eight consecutive matches and have scored 25 unanswered goals dating back to a 3-1 win over Grand Canyon on Sept. 20.
For the match, UVU (6-8-1, 4-3-1 WAC) fired a season-low eight shots, three of which required saves from SU goalkeeper Brianna Smallidge. Forward Natalie Baker provided the Wolverines' best chance in the first half, driving a low, hard shot that Smallidge parried away with open hands. It was Baker's only attempt of the evening.
With the score 2-0 in the second half and Utah Valley trying to get more players forward into the attack, freshman Taylor Kirk nearly ignited a comeback effort with her shot in the 66th minute. Driving up the right side, Kirk's feint at the edge of the penalty area sent two Redhawks sliding past. Left in plenty of space, her left footed blast rose just over the cross bar.
Having already defeated Utah Valley, 2-0, in Orem earlier this month, Seattle U claims the season series. The Wolverines have never beaten the Redhawks and are 0-6-0 in the all-time series.
Kali Stubbs, who played 42 minutes off the bench, was the only Wolverine to notch more than one shot attempt with two on the night. Goalkeeper Lauren Sack and defenders Maddie Adams and Sara Ranck played all 90 minutes for UVU.
"I thought Sack and (defender) Lexi Dunn both played well tonight," Anderson said. "We can't dwell on this match long as we need to regroup and refocus for Sunday's match with Idaho."
Utah Valley will look to exact some revenge for its only other conference defeat when it visits Idaho on Sunday for a 2 p.m. MT contest in Moscow. The Vandals topped the Wolverines, 1-0, earlier this month and also claimed last season's meeting at Guy Wicks Field by the same score line.
Kellen Hiser is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.
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