Two seasons ago the men’s soccer club took home a victory from Salt Lake Community College. They pulled it off again for the first time since then Friday night as the Wolverines took a 2-1 victory at home against SLCC in a game that had rugby-like aggression.
“If there is one team that we fight against, it is Salt Lake Community College,” striker Jared Vogelsberg said. “On every single play, everyone was going 100 percent.”
UVU received a boost of confidence for that fight when Mike Emmitt drove the ball into the net off a penalty kick within the first 30 minutes of the game.
The on-field aggression stemmed from another source: championship conetntion. At the end of each season it’s common to find either SLCC or Weber State University taking home the Northwest Regional Championship.
Utah Valley wants in.
“The game is always intense with Salt Lake Community College,” Coach Kemal Makasci said. “They over -hallenge us because they want to beat us so much.”
Another barrier UVU had to fight through Friday was the loss of forward Matt Tidwell after an injury at Weber State kept him from playing. Entering Friday’s game Tidwell had scored five goals over the previous three matches.
Despite the loss, UVU shared the ball on offense with well-executed passes and quick touches between players. According to Makasci, the team is becoming more organized in transitions from defense to offense.
Midfielder Parker Davis would like to see improved consistency through the first and second halves.
“[We need to be] creating more opportunities during the game so we don’t get stuck with a 1-0 lead in halftime,” Davis said.
SLCC was able to tie the game at 1-1 at the start of the second half when two of their forwards were left open just 18 yards away from the goal line, giving them a clear shot on the left side of the net. After a foul was committed by SLCC later in the half, Gabriel Miter was able to drive a kick from midfield to assist Joe Stewart in the second and final goal, giving UVU the win.
UVU’s record now stands 3-1-0 with a 5-0 shut-out against Weber State.
“Our team formation was great,” Vogelsberg said in regards to the Weber State game. “That gave us a lot of goal-scoring opportunities.”
Makasci hopes to find consistency from the players this year, and labeled his coaching staff as a key in doing so.
“They are helping a great deal for the team,” Makasci said. “It gives more comfort to understand what is going on. They help a lot during the training and during the game.”
UVU will host Utah State tomorrow night at 5 p.m. with hopes of bouncing back after the 4-2 loss against the Aggies three weeks ago in Logan.