Women’s soccer: UVU looks to defend title at conference tourney

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Photo by Julie Ostler

Utah Valley University did not end its season the way it wanted or would have hoped for after it came up short against division leader Seattle University Friday night. The Wolverines dropped to a final record of 9-7-2 on the season and 3-3-1 in Western Athletic Conference play.

With the regular season complete, UVU looks to the WAC Tournament this week, but the road looks tough, as it will face No. 5 seed New Mexico State Thursday.

In its regular season match Oct. 16, UVU tried to add another one under the win column, however, NMSU came ready to battle. The match headed into double overtime with a final score of 2-2, which marked the second tie of the season for UVU. With an evenly matched game, UVU led in shots with 18 to NMSU’s nine. Both teams had a total of four shots on goal and two saves from each goalkeeper.

Head coach Brent Anderson believes in his team, and is excited for a fresh start with the tournament.

“I love tournament time. Essentially the slate is wiped clean and everyone starts at the same point,” said Anderson. “Everything we have or haven’t accomplished to this point is moot and now we simply take one match at a time focusing our attention and energy on the moment.”

Focused they must be, as the Wolverines will once again face No. 1 seed Seattle University.

Having faced SU twice during the season, with the first match in Seattle, Washington Oct. 1 and the second Oct. 29 in Orem, Utah. The Redhawks came away with the win in the first match, with a final score of 1-0. UVU was held to six shots and two shots on goal, to SU’s 14-4. The second match was a decisive win for SU with a final score of 3-1.

UVU started the season strong by winning four of its first five matches, dropping only the second to powerhouse Arizona. The regular season seemed promising for UVU. SU, however, started out slowly by losing four of its first seven games and came away with a tie in another.

As the season progressed, SU began to take shape as the team to beat, winning 10 of its last 11 games of the season. On the opposite side of the spectrum, UVU struggled to find itself during the season, struggling at times to keep a lead or to score a goal.

No. 3 seed University of Missouri-Kansas City also had its ups and downs during the season, coming away with a subpar record of 6-9-4.

Looking to start fresh, UMKC turns to their matchup against No. 6 seed University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. The Kangaroos will try to repeat the outcome of their Oct. 7 match in Edinburg, Texas where UMKC came away with the win by a final score of 2-1. UTRGV ended the season with an overall record of 10-7-1, but fell apart in WAC play with a record of 2-5-0.

No. 2 seed Cal State Bakersfield will wait to see who it will go up against Friday, after UMKC and UTRGV face off Thursday. UMKC and UTRGV will have their work cut out for them with CSUB’s overall record of 8-9-2 and a WAC record 4-2-1.

With so many different scenarios present in this year’s tournament, from teams looking to start fresh to others looking to continue their stellar regular season play.

“To win the tournament is the goal, but we will take it match by match,” said Anderson.

The first match of the tournament is set to kick off at 3 p.m. in Kansas City, Missouri.