By Kevin Olsen
After losing to Utah State last week on the road, the men’s soccer club was eager to come back to Utah Valley and play in front of a home crowd. Tuesday night marked the first home game of the season and left an impression of confidence as they took home a 4-1 victory over Westminster College.
The 4-2 loss against Utah State allowed the team to step back and look for areas of improvement. The Wolverines struggled to stop Utah State’s offense as the Aggies broke two ties to take the win.
“The first 15 minutes we were a little rusty and we gave a goal, but then we adjusted a little bit so we equalized,” assistant coach Viktor Bezhani said regarding the game against Utah State. “In the second half they were in a little bit better shape than us and they won the game.”
Tuesday’s game against Westminster was a different story however. In the first 30 minutes of the game Utah Valley would set the standard for the rest of the night after Parker Davis executed a pass through two opponents to Cameron Brink, who assisted striker Jared Vogelsberg in the first home goal of the season.
“Honestly, that was a really easy finish,” Vogelsberg said about the goal. “It was everything that led up to it that was the hard part.”
The second goal came nearly two minutes later when number 16 drove the ball into the net, giving Utah Valley an early 2-0 lead in the first half.
Because of the early lead, Wolverines head coach Kemal Makasci was able to put his bench in play and gain a greater feel for how the team will work together.
“It was good for them to have this type of opportunity,” Makasci said in regards to the subs. “They used this option very well.”
UVU’s defense appeared solid Tuesday as they kept the ball away from the goal line while finding opportunities to pass to the forwards, something that Westminster struggled with early in the game.
“Our main focus right now at the beginning of the season is just possession,” Vogelsberg said. “As long as we’re controlling the ball with simple one-two touches.”
Freshman Trey Williams scored Utah Valley’s last goal, followed by a late goal by Westminster to end the game at 4-1 and put UVU’s record at 1-1-0.
“I had a good first touch, and pushed the ball passed my opponent,” Williams said. “As a team we’re really starting to shape up.”
If UVU can continue to pass the ball and execute plays the way they did Tuesday night, the 2011 season should be a success for the club team, possibly earning them a spot in the regional championships.
“It was a very good game for us to be able to get some self-esteem,” Makasci said. “But we need to work on several things. For example: transition from offense to defense.”