Utah Valley men’s soccer saw their 2019 season extended by at least one more match on Friday, Nov. 15, against Air Force Academy because of penalty kicks. But had their season come to a close on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 17, against Seattle University due to penalty kicks. The Redhawks then earned the WAC title and an automatic berth into the NCAA tournament.
The first time UVU and SU met this season came in late October in Seattle. The Redhawks were victorious in that match, winning 2-1 in overtime.
In a rematch of the 2015 WAC title match, UVU was able to get on the scoreboard first in the 35th minute off of a free kick turned into a header. The goal was scored by senior midfielder Alec Felix, his fourth this season and ninth for his career.
It looked as if the Wolverines would head into the half with a 1-0 lead, until a 50/50 ball in the box happened. Felix and SU’s senior midfielder Julian Avila-Good both got to the ball simultaneously, but it was Avila-Good who got more of it and sent it past UVU senior goalkeeper Mitch Jensen and into the back of the net.
With no goals scored in the second half, or either of the overtime periods, the match was headed for a penalty kick shootout. This would be UVU’s second shootout in as many games.
The Redhawks wouldn’t need their final kick of the shootout as sophomore goalkeeper Akili Kasim came up with three huge saves to help SU advance by a 2-1 penalty kick score. Kasim was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament after the match.
Jensen had a great game for the Wolverines, coming up with nine saves. He only gave up one goal in three tournament games and was named to the all-tournament team, along with teammates Felix and sophomore defender Ahmed Longmire.
UVU was missing two key players in this match though. WAC Offensive Player of the Year, senior forward Blake Frischknecht and senior midfielder Luis Vargas. Frischknecht went down with what was reported to be a knee injury in the WAC quarterfinal match on Nov. 13. While Vargas sustained an injury on Nov. 9, but attempted to play in the WAC semifinal match on Nov. 15.
The Wolverines end their 2019 season with a record of 12-6-3 overall. This was the best record UVU has had since the 2016 season when they went 15-4-1.