On a rainy Tuesday night in Happy Valley, the UVU women’s soccer team fell to the visiting Argentina Women’s National team 3 to 1 in a World Cup preparation match for the visitors.
Before the start of the game, the UVU women recognized Utah Royals player and USA international, Amy Rodriguez, as honorary captain for the match.
The Wolverines pressed hard at the start of the game, leading to an early goal in the fifth minute when freshmen Sadie Brockbank threaded a great through ball to senior Amber Tripp in the attacking third, who slipped the ball past Argentinian goalkeeper Solana Pereyra to put UVU up 1 to 0. After UVU’s goal, Argentina responded with higher pressing in their attack, having some good looks on goal, but the the final pass or shot did not connect to find an equalizer.
Both teams battled it out for the first 15 minutes, with neither finding a real foothold against the other after the first initial goal. In the 11th minute, Brockbank had a strike on goal forcing a save from Argentina’s goalkeeper, and leading to a Wolverine corner kick that fizzled out. In the 22nd minute, Argentina broke through UVU’s defense via a lobbed pass to their striker who became one on one with freshmen goalkeeper Danielle Orr, but the shot went wide to deny Argentina the chance to level the game.
Right before half time, Argentina generated another great attack by one of their forwards, receiving a through ball passed the Wolverines’ defense. Goalkeeper Danielle Orr came off her line to challenge, but she got beat by the Argentinian forward who placed a low shot toward an open goal. However, substitute senior Linley Brown (who came in earlier in the match for injured senior Sara Callister) made a goal-saving slide tackle in the box to direct the ball out of bounds, preserving the Wolverines’ lead at the half time whistle.
The second half began with momentum on the Argentinian side, who took full advantage, by heavily attacking in UVU’s defensive third, leading to an equalizer for the visitors in the 56th minute, when an Argentinian forward got around a couple UVU defenders and curled a shot passed Orr. The pressure did not let up for the Wolverines with threatening shots coming from the Argentinians in the 60th and 63rd minute.
As the 75th minute rolled around, Argentina had a rocket shot outside the box to take the lead making it 2 to 1. Not long after in the 79th minute, another great strike by Argentina added another goal to make the score 3 to 1. On the restart after conceding the third goal, the Wolverines through Brockbank, had a quick break through Argentina’s defense, becoming one on one with the goalkeeper, but her shot went wide thwarting the Wolverines’ chances at pulling one back.
Late in the game UVU had a spirited attack and were able to create a couple chances, but time was not in their favor and they fell 3 to 1 to end the game.
“The first goal was awesome and I felt like they had a lot of possession and because of it, we were chasing a lot and it weared on us. I thought for the most part we stayed pretty disciplined, I wish that we would have transitioned better in our attacking shape. We kind of got stuck in the bunker and couldn’t get out it,” said Utah Valley head coach Chris Lemay after the match.
Utah Valley will continue their spring games with a double header against instate rivals Utah and Salt Lake Community College on Saturday, April 6 against Utah at 11:00 a.m. and Salt Lake Community College at 4 p.m. Both games are at Clyde Field on UVU’s campus.
Argentina continues their World Cup preparation games with a match against BYU women’s soccer team on April 4 at 7:00 p.m.
Photo courtesy of UVU Athletics