The Utah Valley University men’s soccer team suffered a gut-wrenching 3-2 loss to the Santa Clara University Broncos on Friday, Sep. 11, at Stevens Stadium – Buck Shaw Field in Santa Clara, California.
The Wolverines had a 2-0 lead after the first 17 minutes of the match; however, the Broncos scored a late first-half goal and two second-half goals to stun the Wolverines with a come-from-behind win. The Wolverines dropped their second-straight game, moving to 2-3-1 on the season and fifth place in the Western Athletic Conference standings behind San Jose State.
Despite outshooting the Broncos 17-16, the Wolverines were outshot seven to four in shots on goal and seven to two in corner kicks. Forward Jesse Anamoo scored two out of three goals for the Broncos. The Wolverines also picked up nine fouls, including seven yellow cards. However, UVU goalkeeper, Jason Smith, racked up four saves.
The Wolverines caught lightning in a bottle early as freshman forward Owen Knecht drilled in the first goal of the game in the fifth minute to put UVU up 1-0 early. Midfielder Ura Miura followed in the 17th minute pounding in a goal of his own to give the Wolverines a 2-0 advantage.
The Wolverines tried to keep up the pressure by taking three more shots within the next eight minutes but missed each.
The Broncos then began to become more aggressive, firing six shots in retaliation, with three of those shots being saved by Smith. However, Bronco defender Damani Osei put SCU on the board with his third shot of the half in the 39th to cut the deficit 2-1.
After a slower start to the second half, the Broncos ramped back up as midfielder James Redington almost scored again for SCU with a bullet towards the bottom right corner that was again saved by Smith. Following the conceded corner by the Wolverines, Anamoo fired the equalizer for the Broncos to tie the game 2-2.
The next 17 minutes went back and forth as both teams were off the mark in their shooting. Wolverine midfielder Carter Johnson almost scored in the 70th minute while trying to connect the ball into the bottom left corner but Bronco goalkeeper Felix Schaefer made the save. Miura followed with another close attempt in the 72nd, but Schaefer made another stop.
The Wolverines then proceeded to miss the next three shots.
Anamoo stayed on fire for SCU as he scored the third team goal and his second of the night in the 76th minute to put the Broncos up 3-2 late in the game. UVU was never able to respond as their final four shots in the game were no good, sealing the final score at 3-2.
The Wolverines will now look to bounce back in their conference opener against the WAC second-place Grand Canyon University Lopes next Friday, Sep. 23, in Phoenix, Arizona. The match will kick off at 8 p.m. MT and can be streamed on ESPN+.
Sophomore at UVU. Writer for the UVU review, statistician for UVU ESPN+, and play-by-play commentator for UVU Men’s Lacrosse.