Wolverines top UC Riverside 2-0 in physical season opener

Reading Time: 2 minutes In their regular season opener, a young Wolverine squad with five new starters got their first win of the season, defeating UC Riverside 2-0.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Utah Valley men’s soccer team defeated UC Riverside at Clyde Field on Thursday, Aug. 25 with a final score of 2-0. Both Aaron Nixon and Ben Ortiz found the back of the net for the Wolverines in the contest.

“We knew it was gonna be tough…I am just extremely proud, proud of the effort and just the group’s vibe right now,” said head coach Kyle Beckerman. “We really needed this and it’s gonna go a long way in helping us in the future.”

Nixon got things started for the Wolverines in the 27th minute, putting them up 1-0 with an easy chip shot after an error by UCR keeper Carlos Gonzales went the Wolverine’s way. 

In the 67th minute, Alejandro Silva’s free-kick nearly set up another goal, with Carter Johnson’s header bouncing off the top of the crossbar before being cleared.

In the 77th minute,  a deflected ball again bounced the Wolverine’s way, this time into possession of Ortiz who fired the ball into the top of the net, subsequently putting the Wolverines up for good.

The game was very physical, featuring 31 fouls, 10 yellow cards, and two red cards. Both red cards stemmed from a scuffle that took place in the 40th minute. After a Highlander player ran out of bounds, they were subsequently shoved from behind, and forced into a pole by Samuel Krommenhoek. Pushing and shoving ensued and a punch was thrown. Krommenhoek was given a red card and ejected from the contest and UCR was also issued a red card. Utah Valley would be forced to play with 10 players from that point on, yet they were able to maintain their efficiency throughout the rest of the contest.

UCR out-shot the Wolverines 11-8 in the contest. Both teams had two shots on goal and in the end, the Wolverines were able to capitalize on both of their chances.

UVU will next face off against the #5 ranked Oregon State Beavers in Corvallis, Oregon on Monday, Aug. 29. The match kicks off at 7 p.m. MT and can be streamed on the Pac-12 Network.