Wolverines draw against GCU 0-0 to open WAC play

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The Utah Valley women’s soccer team played to a scoreless overtime draw with the Grand Canyon Antelopes to open WAC play on Sept. 23 at Clyde Field.

While neither side had many chances on goal, the story of the match was the Wolverines’ strikers who just couldn’t stay onside. In 110 minutes of play, UVU was called offside six times and had two goals disallowed. 

“I was happy with the chances that we created,” said UVU head coach Chris Lemay. “We just need to be a little more accurate in the opportunities that we had.”

Out of the 12 shots taken by the Wolverines, only two were on goal.

Senior goalkeeper Brooklyn Nielsen kept a clean sheet for the fifth time this season, saving all five GCU shots that came her way. 

The Lopes had a great chance to get on the board in the 7th minute on a free kick from about 20 yards out, but Nielsen was able to catch the curling ball before it found the back of the net. 

Junior forward Sadie Brockbank had a pair of chances in the 14th and 16th minutes, but the first shot missed wide right and the second beat the keeper but was ruled offside. 

Perhaps the best scoring chance of the day for the Wolverines happened right at the stroke of half time, when junior forward Julie Carter cut in from the right flank and fired a shot on goal, but Lopes goalie Jordan Ferguson was able to turn the shot away at the right post. 

UVU opened the second half on the attack, and had three good chances to break the deadlock in the first 10 minutes, but none came to fruition. Senior midfielder Amber Tripp missed wide right, Brockbank was caught offside again, and sophomore defender Katie Haskins had the ball at her feet but couldn’t get a shot away before the GCU defender cleared the ball out of the penalty area. 

GCU made Nielsen work again in the 56th minute, forcing a diving save out of the Wolverine keeper. This was the last real chance either team had before overtime. 

Nielsen made a trio of crucial plays in overtime to keep the Lopes off the board. She made a pair of saves in the 96th and 107th minutes, the second of which required every inch of her vertical to tip the ball over the crossbar. On the ensuing corner, she was able to sift through the traffic in front of her and corral the loose ball before a shot could be taken. 

UVU nearly found the golden goal at the last possible moment, but Sadie Brockbank was dispossessed on the counterattack just inside the penalty area as time expired in overtime. 

The Wolverines will have a quick turnaround following the draw with GCU. UVU will be back at it again on Saturday, Sept. 25 to take on the New Mexico State Aggies at Clyde Field. The match is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. and can be streamed on ESPN+.