Photo by Julie Ostler
OREM, Utah—The No. 14 Utah Valley University men’s soccer team extended its win streak to lucky number seven with a 3-1 victory over Grand Canyon Thursday at Clyde Field. Joe Barakat gave the Wolverines their third goal in the 66th minute as he slotted a deflection off GCU goalkeeper Kendyl Day into the back of the net.
“I was very impressed from start to finish,” said UVU head coach Greg Maas. “It was an unfortunate goal late in the game, we need to be a little bit more focused and dialed in in that moment, but I thought we were fantastic back to front. We created great scoring opportunities and I thought we really locked it down in the midfield today.”
Skyler Milne put UVU on the board early as he received service into the penalty area on a corner kick from Aaron Meyer. True to form, Milne sent a header by Day to put the Wolverines on the board 1-0 in the 17th minute.
Gui Leme tallied another goal for UVU (14-3-0, 7-1-0 WAC) in the 59th minute. Paul Hoffmeister set up Leme as he drew defenders to the right side of the penalty box, then fed a pass across to Leme as he slid and sent the ball to the back, right corner of the net.
Just six and a half minutes later, Connor Salmon fired from the right side of the penalty area, but Day sent it back with a two-handed save. Barakat was waiting for the deflection and sent it back into the net for a 3-0 UVU lead and the first goal of his career.
The breath was sucked of Clyde Field in the 28th minute as Milne attempted to make a turn toward the goal on GCU defender Jaime Olabarria near the left sideline. As the two were tangled up, Olabarria pulled Milne to the turf and he landed on his shoulder. Milne was called for a foul and left the match with a shoulder injury.
GCU quelled UVU’s attempt at its 11th shutout on the season with a goal in the 88th minute by Andy Alanis. Goalkeeper Mitch Jensen was pulled off his line to his left, and the Antelopes worked the ball back to the middle of the penalty area for Alanis, who fired on an open net.
As conference play winds down, UVU holds steady in second place in the Western Athletic Conference behind Seattle University with two matches to play. The Wolverines can clinch the regular season WAC title with wins in their final matches as the Redhawks hold a slim two-point lead in the standings.
UVU hosts UNLV Saturday at 7 p.m. MT at Clyde Field.
I’m a Pacific Northwest guy who loves his Pacific Northwest sports. An amateur movie buff who prefers the disc to digital. Chasing the sports writing dream while I geek out on Assassin’s Creed.