The Utah Valley men’s soccer team dropped an overtime thriller at home to San Jose State in what was the first game after former head coach Greg Maas announced his resignation. Emotions ran high as the game saw an unusually high number of cards assessed to players on both sides of the pitch.
The frustration for the Wolverines reached a boiling point after the final goal in overtime hit the back of the net. Both teams cleared the benches, one side to celebrate the game winning goal, and the other to voice their distaste for the celebration that was happening. Luckily, the coaches and administrators were able to separate the two sides before things got too ugly.
“We are gutted with the result tonight, but we learned a lot about the group,” said interim head coach Michael Chesler. “I thought we responded extremely well after going down two goals. We played attractive and entertaining soccer at times and need to fine-tune a few things as we prepare for Houston Baptist on Monday.”
The Spartans kicked off the scoring early on in the match thanks to a 16th minute goal by senior midfielder Nicolas Brenes. UVU had an opportunity to equalize midway through the first half but a free kick by junior forward Zahir Vazquez was smothered by the defending wall of Spartans.
SJSU enjoyed a comfortable two-goal lead for much of the second half, but the Wolverines found some much needed luck as the ball took a bad bounce off of senior defender Eduardo Miranda’s foot and crossed the scoring line for an own goal, helping UVU to get on the board in the 71st minute of the match.
The night would only get worse for Miranda from then on. In the 77th minute, Miranda was issued a yellow card for a penalty in the box as Vazquez was loading up a shot on goal. This penalty would prove costly for the Spartans as Vazquez would sink the penalty shot to redeem his earlier miss in the game and tie the match at two apiece and eventually send the game into overtime.
The Wolverines played the majority of the overtime period a man-up after Miranda was issued his second yellow card and was sent off the pitch. Although, the advantage was not enough to will UVU to victory, the speed of the SJSU attackers proved to be too much for the Wolverines defensemen to handle as the Spartans scored the golden goal in the 98th minute to win the game.
UVU falls to 1-3 on the season and finds themselves in last place in the WAC standings with just two games left on the schedule. The Wolverines chances at qualifying for the WAC Tournament in Las Vegas are beginning to look dim as they would need to pass two teams ahead of them in the standings to qualify.
Brice Larson is currently a Junior at UVU majoring in communications with an emphasis in journalism and media studies. He enjoys everything about sports and one day hopes to become a college football analyst and play by play commentator.