The UVU women’s soccer team took to the field on Halloween as the number five seed in the WAC Tournament and pulled out a 2-1 victory. The Wolverines played host to the number four seed, the Grand Canyon Antelopes. This weekend marks the first time that UVU has ever hosted the conference tournament. Amidst the spooks and scares of Halloween, the scariest thing on the field was the UVU attack.
Senior Sara Callister started the scoring early for UVU in the 12th minute, when she took a pass from freshman forward Sadie Brockbank and broke toward the net. Callister received the ball just outside the goalie box and immediately cut to her right, causing the GCU keeper to leave her spot on the goal line. Once the keeper dove towards her feet, Callister chipped the ball right over her body and the ball found the back of the net. The goal was the third of the season for Callister, who was an integral piece in the Wolverines’ run to the WAC title in this same tournament a year ago.
Brockbank, who assisted the Callister goal, would double UVU’s lead in the 32nd minute with a goal of her own. Brockbank was hurtling towards the goal when she dumped the pass off to fellow attacker, sophomore Amber Tripp, who took the ball to the center of the box. Running into a defender, Tripp slipped the ball back to Brockbank who sidestepped the keeper and fired a shot right by GCU’s senior keeper Abby Burton.
When asked about his team’s offensive approach, UVU head coach Chris Lemay said, “I think that we had a great balance of retaining possession of the ball at the right time and then finding trigger moments. When we had space to get in behind them, I thought we did a nice job of finding that space and attacking it.”
Burton was busy all day, as she faced 13 shots from the UVU attack, four of which were on target. To her credit, Burton made multiple saves with the tips of her fingers to keep her team within reach and the deficit at only two goals.
Just before halftime, GCU cut the lead in half and stormed back into the game. Off of a corner kick in the 42nd minute, sophomore Sandra Hill got the Antelopes on the board. The pass from the corner bounced off of a couple of UVU defenders and GCU teammates, when finally Hill possessed the ball and fired it into the top left corner of the net. Just missing the outstretched hands of UVU keeper Sarah Davis, the ball curled in and Hill had her first goal of the season.
The scoring would stop there, as UVU dominated possession for the bulk of the second half. They closed out the great victory 2-1 in front of their home crowd the same home fans, who this past week, were announced as the 13th-best fans in the nation for women’s soccer attendance, the highest mark in school history.
The 2-1 victory over GCU means that UVU will live to fight another day, as they head to the next round and will face number one seeded Kansas City on Nov. 2 at 6 p.m. A spot in the conference championship will be on the line when the Wolverines and the Kangaroos meet at Clyde Field.
Photo courtesy of: WAC Athletics