Soccer carries conference dominance to tournament play

Nicole Spencer Archibald led the team with eight goals going into their season finale at Houston Baptist last Saturday. Andrea Lindgren/UVU Review

The GWC acronym may need to make a name change.

The Great Wolverine Conference?

The numbers certainly back up the idea. A six-game winning streak, three consecutive shutouts and an all-time undefeated conference record (10-0-1) going into last Saturday’s match against Houston Baptist all make their case that UVU, in all but name, owns their league.

The Wolverines’ conference dominance is a refreshing reminder that their brutal non-conference stretch — a 3-7-1 stretch that featured only two home games, all against tougher competition — was exactly what it was supposed to be: a test and a measuring stick that helped UVU be more than ready for the games that count.

Head coach Brent Anderson stressed as much in post-game interviews, alluding that his team could only benefit from the lessons learned in pre-conference play.

The Wolverines are only too happy to prove him right. Katey Turner and Nicole Archibald Spencer have spearheaded the Wolverines’ winning streak, scoring a combined six goals during the stretch.

Turner, a 5-foot senior forward, has shredded opposing defenses with her speed, often catching the opposing defense off-guard, while Archibald Spencer has hurt opponents with both her scoring and passing (two goals, two assists, six points in wins over North Dakota and North Dakota State).

Defensively, the Wolverines continue to lean on goalkeeper Lauren Sack. The redshirt freshman was nothing short of dominant in UVU’s Oct. 24 win over South Dakota, coming up with six saves in a 3-0 shutout win. Sack leads the GWC in goals allowed, allowing just 1.02-per-game.

Having already clinched the GWC East Division, the Wolverines set out for back-to-back conference titles this week. The GWC Tournament begins Friday at Houston, Texas, home of the Houston Baptist Huskies.

But they need to be careful to hold on to that success. “It’s a whole different season,” said Anderson. “One win, you move on, one loss and you go home.”

Should UVU advance to the championship game, they could potentially face South Carolina State, who was also a perfect 5-0 in conference play going into last weekend.

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