Wolverines lose OT heartbreaker to undefeated Washington 2-1

Wolverine defenders attempting to avert a Washington chance (Photo courtesy of UVU athletics)

The Utah Valley men’s soccer team lost a heartbreaker to the No. 3 Washington Huskies, falling 2-1 in overtime on Sept. 16 at Clyde Field. 

Defender Diego Castillo scored the lone goal for the Wolverines, with Robin Achille and Kendall Burks scoring for UW.

The Wolverines were the stronger side for about the first 60 minutes of the game, but were unable to find a go-ahead goal in that time. The Wolverines out-shot the Huskies 5-2 with shots on goal through the first 80 minutes of play, but UW kept getting quality chances in the closing moments and finally broke through in overtime.

UVU had a great opportunity to open the scoring in the 18th minute when Evans Armah was sent through on goal, but he was brought down from behind just outside the penalty area by Husky defender Ryan Sailor. 

Sailor was shown a yellow card for his egregious challenge, but the Wolverines were unable to score off the ensuing free kick. The UVU bench was lobbying for Sailor to be shown a straight red card because Armah had just the goalie to beat, but were unsuccessful. 

Less than a minute later, a penalty was given on the other end of the pitch after a foul was called on Wolverine midfielder Caleb Wight inside the 18-yard box. Goalkeeper Jason Smith saved the initial penalty shot by Achille, but he was able to tap in the rebound after Smith was unable to corral the ball. 

UVU kept the pressure on UW following the goal, and eventually earned a penalty of their own in the 28th minute. Diego Castillo stepped up to take the spot kick and chipped a panenka right down the middle of the goal to level the score at 1.

Burks had the next quality chance for the Huskies in the 37th minute after he used a few step overs and a cutback to create some space, but he fired his shot harmlessly over the crossbar. 

Forward Aaron Nixon forced an amazing save out of UW goalkeeper Sam Fowler in the 39th minute, when he headed Armah’s cross towards goal. Nixon’s shot seemed destined for the top-right corner of the goal, but Fowler reached across his body and caught the shot before it went in. 

Following intermission, Nixon had another great chance saved by Fowler. In the 47th minute, Nixon cut in from the left flank and fired his shot towards goal, but Fowler was able to stop it at his near post. Nixon had another chance on goal in the 54th minute, but was fouled just outside the penalty area before he could get a shot off. 

Neither side was able to create any chances until the 77th minute when UVU earned a free kick about 25 yards from goal. Midfielder Jojea Kwizera took the free kick, and fired a shot that was mere inches too high over the top-left corner of the goal. 

The final 10 minutes of regulation were all Huskies, but Smith did his best to keep the Wolverines in it. Smith made a pair of spectacular saves in the 82nd and 84th minute, the first being tipped over the crossbar and the second being parried out for a throw-in. 

UVU survived to see overtime, but UW kept the pressure on before ultimately finding the golden goal. Smith made another save to force a corner kick, but the Huskies were able to score off of that corner when Burks rose above the Wolverine defense and thumped a header into the left side of the goal. 

The Wolverines will have some time to regroup before they play their next game. UVU will kick off its conference slate by renewing the Old Hammer Rivalry with Dixie State on Sept. 25 in St. George. The match is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. MDT and can be streamed on ESPN+.

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