During the Wolverines’ exhibition run, coach Brent Anderson was openly impressed with the team’s scoring potential on the front end, even admitting he might need to “find time” for talented newcomers like Regan Clifford and Haley Curtis.
Now, he’d settle for just finding goals.
Riding a three-game losing streak going into last Friday’s game against Boise State – with only one goal in that span – forced the Wolverines to take another look at their offense. The exhibition season saw UVU employ exceptional ball movement, but Anderson has seen the passing game being passed up in favor of more individualized play.
“We kind of stopped moving the ball from the back line to the midfielders and forwards as well as we were [before],” Anderson said. “After the Texas State game, we went back and worked on that in practice. It was a lot better against UTEP.”
Better meant one goal (Whitney Fuller’s first career goal) as opposed to none. But where that would have made the difference between a 1-0 loss against Texas State and a tie, the long-overdue score came only after UTEP blitzed UVU for three goals in the game’s first 19 minutes.
The offense had emerged, but the focus on that happening seemingly cost the defense their edge.
“I think we were trying so hard to get our offense back on track, it drew our attention away from playing defense,” Anderson said. “We have to get back to where we’re playing well on both sides of the field.”
The Wolverines will have plenty of time to do that. They play only one game between now and Sept. 23 – a home game this Friday against Northern Colorado. Anderson is confident that the team isn’t far away from their well-balanced ways.
“We played a really good second half against UTEP,” Anderson said. “We’ve got some things to work on, but we’ll get there.”
Women’s soccer will return home on Sunday, Sept.12, at noon as they take on Northern Colorado.