Tim Castaneda, Sports Writer, @xTIMBOxSLICEx
UVU men’s soccer achieved its first win as a member of the Western Athletic Conference after the Wolverines escaped Friday night’s match versus Grand Canyon with a 1-0 victory. Both teams entered the match seeking to earn their first WAC win of the season .
For 82 minutes, visiting Grand Canyon stayed even with the home team before UVU mid-fielder Skyler Milne found the back of the net on the only goal of the night. In the 83 minute, Milne scored the game winner on a header inside the box after he leaped amongst a crowd of Grand Canyon defenders to reach the ball after a throw in by forward Matt Gay from the left sideline 25 yards from the goal.
The Wolverines came into the match determined to achieve their first ever conference victory. It was the team’s second attempt at reaching the milestone after last week’s match ended in a 1-1 draw versus defending WAC champion Seattle University, who is the favorite to win the WAC again this year.
“If you go into our locker room it says 1-0-1 in there,” said UVU head coach Greg Maas. “And that was absolutely our goal, to get that first WAC win, and that’s historic for our program.”
They reached that achievement albeit by a late goal scored with 7 minutes left to play in the match to avoid the draw in back-to-back matches.
Tonight’s goal by Milne marks the second game-winner of the season for the sophomore mid-fielder. His first game-winning goal came in UVU’s upset victory against then no. 23 ranked Denver in another home match on September 19.
UVU picked up its offensive play in the second half after a slow start to the match for both teams. The Wolverines got off 12 total shots in the second half after the first 45 minutes of play only saw a total of 3 shots on goal from either team.
UVU men’s soccer improves its overall record to 5-3-1 on the year. The team unbeaten at home record of 4-0-1 at Clyde Field, while also remaining unbeaten in conference play with a record of 1-0-1 in the WAC.
UVU men’s soccer continues WAC play with its third straight home match against UNLV Sunday at 11 a.m. MT.