Wolverines come up short on senior day, lose to GCU 1-0

Goalkeeper Joseph Wheelwright makes the save for the Wolverines (Photo courtesy of UVU Athletics).

The last home game for the Utah Valley Wolverines was a hard-fought effort, but they came up short as the Grand Canyon Lopes won the match 1-0. GCU scored the game-winning goal early in the second half to give them the lead and then they held out the Wolverines to win the game. The Wolverines now move to 8-5-2 overall and 5-4 in conference play with one game remaining on the season. 

UVU started the game strong, both offensively and defensively as they held GCU to zero goals, corners and shots. The Wolverines were able to take five shots and two corners in the first half, keeping possession for most of the half. UVU did have seven fouls and was called offsides twice while GCU had five fouls and was called offsides three times.

GCU’s goalkeeper Anthony Munoz racked up four saves in the first half as UVU had multiple great looks. UVU midfielder Jojea Kwizera had three shots on goal in the first half, all of which were deflected by Munoz. 

Forward Aaron Nixon had a good look in the 18th minute for UVU’s second shot on goal, but lined the ball right into the arms of Munoz. Defender Mark Brown also took a good shot in the 33rd minute to the bottom center, but Munoz once again made a diving stop. 

UVU was able to start the second half aggressively with a corner kick in the 45th minute. However, GCU also became aggressive in the second half. Forward Cameron Weller attempted a shot in the 47th minute that sailed out top right. UVU midfielder Diego Castillo tried to answer with a shot in the 49th minute to the bottom left side of the goal post, but Munoz was able to make a diving stop. Nixon had another great look in the 51st minute as he tried to connect once again, however, Munoz picked up another save. 

UVU goalkeeper Joseph Wheelwright was able to make some incredible saves in his final home game as a Wolverine, stopping a grounder by GCU reserve Alec Larbarge in the 56th minute. Wheelwright then saved a direct header by GCU defender Alejandro Alcaide Fernandez in the 58th minute. 

Despite the valiant effort by Wheelwright, GCU was able to cash in a volley kick goal by forward Shaun-Chris Joash in the right side of the goal. Following the goal, GCU was able to slow down the game for the Wolverines.

The Wolverines were unable to locate the net for the rest of the game despite a last-minute effort in the 84th minute. Kwizera took a shot that was deflected off of a GCU defender and Caleb Wight tried to connect it in, but his attempt was blocked as well. Castillo picked up the first and only yellow card of the game in the 85th minute. Nixon tried to head the ball into the goal in the 88th minute, but Munoz was able to catch the ball and put the game on ice.

UVU outshot the Lopes 13-5, with eight shots on goal and took seven corners compared to GCU’s three shots on goal and four corner kicks.

UVU ends their home campaign with a losing record of 3-4 and will look to keep their tournament hopes alive when they take on the California Baptist Lancers in their season finale on Friday, Nov. 5 in Irvine, California. The match will kick off at 8 p.m. MT and will be streamed on ESPN+.

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