Photo by Samantha Raymond
In the opening match of WAC play, the UVU men’s soccer team conceded a late equalizer and tied with the San Jose State Spartans 1-1. Alec Felix scored the opening goal in the 67th minute for UVU. Jeremy Romero scored the tying goal in the 89th minute for the Spartans.
UVU certainly looked to have the match won, but in the dying minutes Spartan captain Joe Kay delivered a ball into the right side of the penalty area and Romero headed home the equalizer. UVU goalkeeper Elliott Rubio chose to come off his line to punch the ball away, but could not make the connection.
Despite the disappointing result, UVU head coach Greg Maas said it was a more mature performance by the team.
“We’ve got to be able to lock down a game in those moments,” Maas said. “A decision allowed San Jose State to eke out an equalizer on their only shot on goal in the entire match.”
After an underwhelming first half of play and over an hour of scoreless soccer, Felix finally broke the deadlock. Wolverine captain Karson Payton put the ball into space in the left side of the penalty area and Felix toe-poked the ball past Spartan goalkeeper Kris Donaldson into the far-right corner. It was Felix’s first career goal as a Wolverine.
UVU looked like the better side offensively during the match, outshooting the Spartans 14-9 and earning eight corner kicks. Giovanny Vazquez led UVU with four shots, and Austin Buxton had three. Despite the statistical advantage in both categories, the final product just wasn’t there for the Wolverines. On the defensive side, UVU looked much more organized than they had in previous matches.
“I thought our defending shape was much better than it has been,” Maas said. “I thought we created good opportunities; we just missed some final execution. But I thought the overall performance was good.”
The draw puts UVU’s season record to 3-5-1 and 0-0-1 in WAC play. The draw extends the Wolverines’ winless streak to five matches, having not won since Sept. 10 when they defeated San Diego State 1-0. The squad will be on the road for the next three matches before returning home to host Missouri-Kansas City on Oct. 12.