Wolverines storm back from 2-0 deficit, defeat GCU 3-2 in WAC semi-final

After conceding two goals in the opening 20 minutes of play, Utah Valley stormed back and clinched a spot in the WAC Tournament Championship game.

Faith Webber celebrates after scoring the game-winning goal (Photo courtesy of UVU Athletics).

The Utah Valley University women’s soccer club defeated Grand Canyon University 3-2 in overtime in the Western Athletic Conference Tournament semi-final. Faith Webber was the hero for the Wolverines, scoring a 108th-minute goal in the closing moments before penalty kicks to clinch the Wolverines a win last Friday.

Webber scored two goals for the Wolverines and Jenna Shepherd scored a goal as well, driving the Wolverines to victory. UVU out-shot GCU 28-13 and 13-8 in shots on goal as they just managed to overcome the unfavorable weather conditions late in the contest. It was a gritty matchup as both teams combined for 35 fouls. 

The Wolverines found themselves in desperation mode after allowing back-to-back goals from GCU’s Bekah Valdez in the 20th and 21st minutes of play. Down 2-0, the Wolverines played against the wind the rest of the first half and were unable to make a dent in the deficit.

The Wolverines came out aggressive in the second half, and it seemed as if it was only a matter of time before they broke through. Webber finally got the Wolverines on the board in the 63rd minute and Julianna Carter picked up the assist.  Shepherd would manifest as the Wolverine’s savior down 2-1, scoring a goal off of a deflected ball in the 83rd minute. 

As the game went to overtime, both teams showed signs of fatigue. GCU’s AJ Loera picked up her second yellow card of the night, warranting a red card and giving the Wolverines a number advantage for the final seven minutes of overtime play. This proved to be the difference maker, as the Wolverines attacked and took advantage. Nicole Olanda found Webber on the right side of the field and Webber shook her defender, turned, and fired a difficult shot into the back of the net to win the contest. The Wolverines just ran out the clock and hung on to win 3-2.

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