The first ever matchup at Clyde Field on Monday night between Utah Valley and Brigham Young University was an instant classic. The defense and goalkeeping for both sides provided all the action, but BYU would hang on to win by a score of 1-0.
Going into the matchup BYU was 4-0 against UVU all-time in a series that started in 2013. This includes a postseason win over the Wolverines in 2015.
UVU had their best chance of the first half on a hand ball by BYU just outside the box. Senior midfielder Brianna Hatch lined up the shot, but came up just short on the right side of the goal.
BYU dominated possession in the first half. The Cougars ripped off nine shots — two coming very close on goal. But, stellar play by UVU senior goalkeeper Allie Jara helped keep the Wolverines tied at the half.
There was no action until the 64th minute when the Cougars struck first. Senior defender Danika Serassio blasted a kick about 25 yards outside the box and into the top left corner. The goal was Serassio’s first on the year.
The Wolverine’s would catch a big break in the 68th minute — when BYU’s freshman midfielder Jamie Shepherd logged her second yellow card of the match. In short, two yellows equaled a red, and BYU would play the rest of the match a player down.
UVU had chance after chance to put the ball into the net with BYU at 10 players, but couldn’t prevail. The closest coming in the 82nd minute, when a shot deflected off BYU keeper Sabrina Davis’ hands and off a BYU defender, but the Wolverines couldn’t capitalize on the golden opportunity.
“There were individual efforts that were good defensively, collectively we were good. Defensively you know it’s a shame to give up one and lose,” said UVU head coach Chris Lemay. “At the end of the day they’re a really good team and are ranked in the top-10 for a reason.”
A stout performance for the Wolverines on defense and Jara at keeper. Some very positive play to build on for UVU as they soon head into WAC play.
“Allie (Jara) has put in her time and she’s desired this role, this starting role and I think she’s seizing it,” said Lemay on his senior goalkeeper. “This is her last year of eligibility and she wants to have the best year she possibly can.”
The Wolverines will now look to their next opponent, as they host San Diego University for the final game of the three game home stand. The game will take place on Friday, Sept. 20 at 11 a.m. MST.
Photo by Zach Burkart