Men’s soccer: UVU strikes on man advantage to top UMKC

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Photo by Cody Glassett

At long last, the UVU men’s soccer team (4-8-1, 1-3-1) snapped its eight-game winless streak Thursday with a 2-1 win over UMKC (4-5-3, 2-2). With the teams locked in a 1-1 tie in the 84th minute, UMKC’s Diego Serfaty was sent off with a red card. Paul Hoffmeister got free just two minutes later to net the game winner with an assist from Alec Felix. It was the Wolverines’ first win since topping San Diego State 1-0 on Sept. 10.

“It’s an incredible relief for this team. They’ve been working so hard and been so committed,” UVU head coach Greg Maas said. “The ball hasn’t bounced our way and tonight we got a couple nice bounces, but our effort today was different.”

The man advantage helped the UVU offense get off the ground. It was just the second game this season that the Wolverines have scored more than one goal, the other instance being a 2-0 shutout win over Cal State Fullterton on Sept. 8.

“This team is notorious for scoring really nice, pretty goals. I’ve told these guys they need to dig in and find a way to score a gritty, scrappy goal,” Maas said. “Both goals today were reminiscent of that.”

The Wolverines opened up the scoring early in the first half when Connor Salmon netted his second goal of the season unassisted in the 8th minute. The original shot got past UMKC goalkeeper Filippo Errico and ricocheted off the goalpost, but Salmon was able to fight through a crowded box to deposit his own rebound into the back of the net.

UVU goalkeeper Joseph Wheelwright played big in this one, making several big saves. The first came in the 35th minute when UMKC’s Pandeli Popgeorgiev split two Wolverine defenders with a shot and Wheelwright made a diving save to preserve the one-goal lead. The lead was short lived after that though, as Antoine Precheur tapped in an easy goal off the rebound of another diving Wheelwright save just four minutes later.

In total, Wheelwright faced six shots on goal and made five saves. The Wolverines doubled up the Roos in shots 16-8 and also led in shots on goal 8-6.

The Wolverines will try to continue the momentum from this win when they welcome No. 12 Air Force to Clyde Field Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.