Breanna DeWaal found the back of the net on a penalty kick in the 81st minute to help secure Utah Valley University a 1-0 road win over CSU Bakersfield on Sunday afternoon at Main Soccer Field.
The win pushes Utah Valley's record to 9-10 overall and 5-1 in WAC play. The victory secures UVU the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye at the upcoming WAC Tournament in Phoenix, Arizona, Nov. 1-5.
"We hadn't been able to consistently come back on that second match of the week and have a stellar performance this year," said Utah Valley head coach Chris Lemay. "We did just that today. It was another hurdle that we were able to overcome. To get this road win and get our second shutout of the week is massive. We found a way to win today at a tough place to play with it being their senior day. They put a lot of pressure on us and we weathered the storm."
Tied 0-0 with just nine minutes remaining in regulation, Utah Valley's Laken Flinders streaked down the left side of the field and into the box where she was fouled by a CSUB defender. The Wolverines were awarded a penalty kick, and DeWaal converted on what would be the game-winner. The goal marks DeWaal's team-best ninth goal of the season.
Brooklyn Nielsen picked up her second shutout of the week as the sophomore keeper improves to 8-6-0 on the season in the box. Nielsen recorded five saves without giving up a goal.
"Brooke gave us some big saves today," Lemay said. "Our defense was stellar and played great against some strong pressure from Bakersfield. Laken did a great job to get pulled down in the box and Bre did what she was supposed to do as our captain and put it away."
Utah Valley outshot CSU Bakersfield, 12-10, on the day. Both teams recorded six shots on goal. Tori Smith, Breanna McCarter and Amber Trip led UVU with three shots apiece. DeWaal, Smith and Trip each had two shots on goal.
Utah Valley has one regular season WAC match remaining as the team travels to play Seattle U on Saturday, Oct. 28. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. MT.
"Mathematically, it's over," said Lemay. "We set out this season to get a bye at the WAC Tournament and we've checked that one off our list. Now, we want to go to Seattle and finish this season off at 10-10, not 9-11. A 10-win season is another goal we would like to check off our list."
Jason Erickson works in the communications office at the Utah Valley University athletic department. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit GoUVU.com.