Women’s Soccer splits pair of WAC fixtures

Women’s Soccer splits pair of WAC fixtures

UVU sits right where the preseason coaches poll had them selected after a loss at Seattle and a win at Idaho.

The Seattle Redhawks remain atop the league after handing the Wolverines their third conference loss of the season.

“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.”

Stephanie Verdoia opened the scoring just 76 seconds into the match for the Redhawks, netting her WAC-best 11th goal of the year. Verdoia hails from Salt Lake City and is the defending league player of the year.

Seattle has been handling their competition with ease lately, winning eight straight games without allowing a goal in a month. Verdoia pushed across her 12th four minutes after halftime to double the Wolverines’ deficit.

UVU fought to get back into the game, but recording a season-worst eight shots didn’t help its cause. The Wolverines ultimately fell, 3-0.

The team only had a day to regroup and was back on the pitch two days later in Moscow, Idaho. UVU lost its first meeting with the Vandals, 1-0 in Orem, and found this contest equally difficult.

Freshman Melanie Ostler gave the Wolverines an early advantage, firing home her first goal of the season in the 3rd minute. The diving Idaho keeper tipped her shot, but it still managed to find the back of the net.

The Vandals then pressed the UVU defense in search of an equalizer and drew even in the 15th minute off a corner. The game remained 1-1 at half.

Idaho switched keepers prior to the start of the final 45 minutes and senior Haley Curtis challenged her in the 49th minute with a header. Curtis’ attempt was blocked but the ball fell to the feet of freshman Taylor Kirk, who safely placed the rebound in the goal. Kirk was nominated for conference player of the week for her stellar play.

The Vandals again leveled the match, this time at two goals apiece, in the 66th minute as ball trickled past an outstretched Lauren Sack for the Wolverines.

Each team’s efforts to take the lead went for naught during the rest of regulation and it wasn’t until the 95th minute that the outcome was decided.

Kirk collected a failed clearance attempt from Idaho near the 18-yard box and delivered a cross to the feet of Curtis, who slotted home the game-winner. Curtis had a match-high seven shots for the Wolverines.

UVU played against Grand Canyon at home Oct. 25 before it goes back on the road to play New Mexico State Nov. 1. The Wolverines finish the regular season with a crucial match at Kansas City, currently tied with UVU for second in the WAC, Nov. 3.

Kyle is a junior at UVU, studying journalism. He works at KSL as a writer/content manager and previously wrote for weareutahjazz.com. He is originally from Colorado Springs, Colo., where most of his family resides. In his free time Kyle enjoys hiking, playing the sports he writes about, reading and obsessively following his professional teams, to which he is unwaveringly loyal. You can follow him @kyledspencer.

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