Photo courtesy UVU Athletics
OREM– The Utah Valley University men’s soccer team returned to Clyde Field Thursday with a 3-0 win over California State University Bakersfield (2-9, 0-3 WAC). The win puts the Wolverines’ overall record at 8-3 with a 1-1 record in conference play.
A last minute change in goal came for the Wolverines as Mitch Jensen got the start between the pipes due to an injury to Elliott Rubio. It was a slow night for Jensen, however, who made the save in the 18th minute on the only shot on goal of the night for the Roadrunners. Regardless, UVU head coach Greg Maas wasn’t concerned about the impact the late change would have on his defense.
“Mitch has been fantastic all year,” said Maas. “We felt very comfortable with Mitch in there; he’s very good with his feet and he’s great with his hands. He provided great leadership here in our first WAC match at home.”
Gui Leme opened the scoring in the 14th minute, as he poked a mishandled ball away from CSUB goalkeeper Antony Siaha and into the net. Just one minute later the first yellow card of the match was assessed to the Runners’ Mamadou Balde for excessive tugging, which ripped Leme’s jersey. He finished the game but had to swap his usual No. 8 jersey for No. 25.
After taking the lead, UVU did not let up, keeping the pressure on which culminated in Paul Hoffmeister’s fifth goal of the season at the 29th minute to put the Wolverines up 2-0. The Hoffmeister header came off of a give-and-go with Karson Payton, who took the pass and fed it back perfectly.
The final goal of the night was netted by Aaron Meyer just two minutes later after he was awarded a penalty kick on a hard foul.
The second half was uneventful on the scoreboard but certainly not without consequence for the Wolverines. In the 62nd minute Alex Neff was assessed his fifth yellow card of the season. As a result, he will be forced to sit for Saturday’s game against the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
CSUB came into the second half looking to put pressure on the UVU goal and had some success as they were able to fire four shots to the Wolverines’ two in the half. However, none of them reached their target.
“It took us a while to adjust but I thought we adjusted well,” said Maas. “The first 20 minutes they made a good run; after that we settled the game back down and I think took the air out of the game for them.”
UVU will remain at home for Saturday’s match against UTRGV as WAC play continues. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. MT.
I grew up on a farm in Burley, Idaho, but I’ve always had an intense love of sports. I’m studying journalism in an attempt to turn my love into a career. I’m a huge Utah Jazz, Tennessee Titans, and San Jose Sharks fan. If it’s a sport, I’ll watch it.