Soccer aims to repeat conference dominance

Junior midfielder Kaitlyn Thomas’ assist late against Portland State helped the Wolverines finish the game in a tie. Kira Terry/UVU Review

Soccer began Great West Conference play last Friday when they hosted Houston Baptist.

The Wolverine offense has kept knocking with the door cracking open for one goal in each of the last three non-conference games.
Going into last Friday’s Great West Conference opener against Houston Baptist, UVU hoped to bust it wide open.

Signs of that happening were evident in their comeback tie at Portland State Oct. 1, particularly late in regulation and in the two overtimes.

The game-tying play came in the final minutes, when Ashley Burdett punched in Kaitlyn Thomas’ cross. Despite eight shots on goal in overtime compared to Portland State’s two, the Wolverines couldn’t find the net again.

Burdett’s goal was her first of the season and the second of her career at UVU.

The defense also showed signs of tightening up their end, going from three, to two, to one goal(s) given up in the three-game stretch, respectively. Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Lauren Sack upped her save percentage to .778 while finishing the week allowing 1.55 goals per game.

The Wolverines will play three home games in five nights, starting Thursday, when they host North Dakota. The Fighting Sioux were winless going into last Friday’s match against South Dakota, holding a record of 0-9-1.

UVU dominated last year’s match against North Dakota, earning a 4-0 victory. Defender Danielle Anderson is the only player on this year’s roster who scored in that match, while Kendra Buchanan is the lone returner who assisted in that game.

Saturday’s upcoming game against South Dakota presents slightly stiffer competition. The Coyotes went into last Friday’s match with a 3-6-2 record, one tie better than the Wolverines. South Dakota is led by freshman scorer Jenny Teslow, who had six goals on the season as of Friday.

The Wolverines shut out the Coyotes 5-0 last season, lifted by then-junior Katey Turner’s two second-half goals.

Last year was the inaugural season for the Great West Conference, with the Wolverines running away with both the west division and the GWC tournament championship.

Thursday’s match will be the ‘Pink with a Purpose’ game where all proceeds will go toward helping former softball player Jordahn Denny, who was injured in a car accident in early May, leaving her paralyzed from the mid-torso down.

Fans who wear pink will get in free to Thursday’s match and the first 200 fans will receive a free T-shirt courtesy of the Utah National Guard.

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