Women’s soccer: Big second half helps UVU top NMSU 5-2

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Photo by Cody Glassett

Amber Tripp and Breanna DeWaal both netted braces as a four-goal second half propelled UVU (6-10, 2-1) over the New Mexico State Aggies (7-7-2, 1-1-1) 5-2 at Clyde Field in the WAC home opener for the Wolverines.

“I thought we were good in the final third,” UVU head coach Chris Lemay said. “I thought we were pretty explosive. We’re really happy with our offensive side of the ball.”

The Aggies struck first in the 11th minute when a cross from Samantha Afonso found Devin Hart, who then controlled the ball and slotted it past UVU keeper Brooklyn Nielsen for the match’s opening goal.

UVU would strike back in the 23rd minute as DeWaal played Leesa Stowe down the right side of the field, opening up a crossing opportunity. The ball went past everybody to the back post and Tripp put the ball in the back of the net to tie the match 1-1.

“One of the things I was most happy about was, we went down early 1-0, and our reaction to that I thought was of great mentality and maturity,” Lemay said. “We stuck to our game plan. We certainly capitalized on the opportunities that we created.”

The Wolverines would come out on the attack in the second half. In the 51st minute, Breanna McCarter dribbled down the right sideline and sent in a cross that was blocked by Aggies keeper Dmitri Fong. The ball went straight to Tori Smith, who controlled the ball and took a shot that deflected off Fong and ended up in the back of the net. The goal was Smith’s third for the season.

Ten minutes later, McCarter passed to Tripp on the left side, and Tripp used her speed to make a marvelous run past defenders towards the Aggie goal and finished it off with her right foot to extend the Wolverine lead. Tripp now has five goals on the season, four of which came in the past two matches.

“They left the outside really open,” Tripp said. “I feel like we were really connecting as a team. That’s why the goals came.”

The goals certainly kept coming as DeWaal scored her first goal of the match from a header in the 66th minute. A cross from Libby Webber off a set piece found DeWaal in the box and the Wolverine lead extended to 4-1.

The Aggies would quickly respond with a goal from Audrianna Chavez from the penalty spot, making it 4-2. Then DeWaal would score her second goal, this one also from the penalty spot, to make the score line 5-2.

On the night, UVU outshot the Aggies 25-6, including 13-4 on goal attempts. Nielsen made two saves in goal for UVU, including an incredible diving save at the end of the first half that kept the score 1-1.

With the win, UVU is now on a two-match winning streak and tied for second place in the WAC with six points. Next up is a match with current WAC leader UTRGV on Oct. 14 at Clyde field. The Wolverines will then host Grand Canyon on Oct. 20 before traveling to Cal State Bakersfield on Oct 22.