Second season for UVU men’s soccer ends in loss at NCAA Tournament
Wolverines shut out for only the fourth time all season
In just their second year of competition, the Utah Valley University men’s soccer team found themselves playing Southern Methodist University in the NCAA tournament after receiving an at-large berth. However, the Wolverines season ended in a 2-0 loss to the Mustangs in their opening round match on Thursday night at Westcott Field.
“I thought we were fantastic tonight,” UVU head coach Greg Maas said in a statement to wolverinegreen.com. “It’s our first opportunity in the NCAA Tournament and I couldn’t be more proud of our effort. We created a lot of chances that gave us a lot of hope but were just a little bit short in a couple of opportunities.”
The UVU defense held tough for the majority of the first half. The Wolverines got an early scare in the 19th minute when goalkeeper Derek Wilcox left his line to play a ball to the left side of his box. The ball careened out of the box and Wilcox pursued. SMU gained control of the ball, but the ensuing shot went high of the open goal.
However, UVU couldn’t keep SMU off the board for much longer. In the 24th minute Wilcox deflected a Mauro Cichero shot to his left, but Brendon Lee was there to send the ball into the upper 90 to give the Mustangs a 1-0 lead.
An aggressive attack by UVU straight out of halftime led to multiple chances at the mouth of the goal. However, the Wolverines came away empty on each attempt.
SMU answered the UVU attack by sealing the victory with a second goal at the 61-minute mark. Idrissa Camara narrowly escaped an offside call in front of the goal, and then sent the ball to the back right post to give the Mustangs a 2-0 lead.
UVU’s Nic Harguindeguy put a ball into the back of the net in the 67th minute, but the goal was called back after the offside flag was raised.
Despite dominating possession for much of the match, SMU outshot UVU by a total of 12 to 11.
UVU ends their season with a 14-6-2 record overall and 6-3-1 in WAC play, including a second place finish in the WAC Tournament. But, the Wolverines will return almost their entire roster in 2016 as the only player they lose is senior Tyler Brown.
Photos courtesy of Brooke Morrill, Gabi Campbell, & August Miller/UVU Marketing
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