OREM, Utah—Utah Valley University men’s soccer senior forward Skyler Milne sustained a left shoulder injury in the 28th minute Thursday night against Grand Canyon. As Milne made a move around GCU defender Jaime Olabarria near the left sideline, Olabarria wrapped up Milne’s right up and dragged him to the ground. Milne left the match with an injury and was called for a foul.
According to UVU head coach Greg Maas, Milne will likely miss the final two matches remaining on the Wolverines’ schedule before the Western Athletic Conference Tournament.
“Skyler takes a beating in all of our games. He’s a big, strong kid and today was no different,” said Maas. “We’ll have to see what the doctors say about it tomorrow, but prognosis is he’ll probably be out for a couple weeks until the WAC Tournament.”
Through 17 games, Milne leads the team with eight goals, including one in the 17th minute against GCU Thursday. Milne was replaced in the game by Gui Leme, who also found the back of the net with his third goal of the season in the 66th minute of the match.
Milne’s commanding presence will indeed be missed in his absence, but not all will be lost during his time on the sideline. After he pulled up lame chasing down a long ball near the end line in Seattle, Milne missed the next two matches against CSU Bakersfield and UT Rio Grande Valley with a left thigh injury. The same as he did Thursday, Leme slipped into the lineup in place of Milne and found the back of the net with a goal against Bakersfield.
Paul Hoffmeister will need to continue his stellar play to make up for any offensive deficiency. Even with his own health woes this season, Hoffmeister sits behind only Milne for goals scored with seven on the season, including three matches with two goals.
Aaron Meyer has dished out four of his WAC-leading eight assists to Milne. However, Meyer has spread around assists to four different players in Hoffmeister, Alex Neff, Karson Payton and Matt Gay.
UVU’s depth has been tested all season. The Wolverines were down a man from the start of the season, as Austin Buxton was diagnosed with a recurrence of testicular cancer. After they had already started 10 games apiece, Milne and Hoffmeister missed time with leg injuries and goalkeeper Elliott Rubio has missed the last seven matches with a shoulder injury.
The Wolverines have answered the bell each time the injury bug has come calling. Unfortunately, it seems fitting the true test comes in the final week of the season with their leading scorer sidelined.
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