Oct. 29, 2011
OREM, Utah - With a Great West Conference championship on the line, Utah Valley used a four-goal second half to defeat South Carolina State, 4-0, and capture the league's first-ever outright regular-season soccer title.
The Wolverines (10-8-1, 5-1) sent five seniors out with a victory in their final home game, including Kaitlyn Thomas and Jaime Lyons, each of whom would score goals for UVU.
"It was a great night. It was Senior Night and the girls were highly motivated. They were ready," UVU head coach Brent Anderson said. "Our defense and goalkeepers communicated and worked really well together. We let ourselves down a little last week and the girls wanted to prove that we were conference champions."
After a scoreless first half that saw just four total shots, Utah Valley was able to open up the game in the final 45 minutes. Still, it was a direct kick by Lexi Dunn that started the scoring. The sophomore booted the ball from 30 yards out over the Bulldog keeper to make it 1-0 in the 55th minute.
Natalie Young added her GWC-leading 10th goal in the 73rd minute, on assists from senior Brianne Larsen Bastian and Lexi Robison, beating the goalkeeper to the ball at the top of the box and scoring on a sliding shot to make it 2-0.
With UVU holding a two-goal lead with just over 14 minutes left, Lauren Sack got her hand on a high shot by Dominique Brown. It was one of four second-half saves for Sack and helped preserve the shutout and keep SCSU (5-8-3, 3-2-1) at bay.
Utah Valley would then pull away. Another direct kick, this time from Thomas from 22 yards away, found the back of the net in the 79th minute. Then, with just over one second on the clock, Lyons put back a shot by Dunn from right in front of the goal for the Wolverines' fourth goal.
The Wolverines had 18 of their 21 total shots in the second half and finished the game with nine shots on goal. The Bulldogs finished with eight shots, five of which came on goal.
Utah Valley will now have a bye in the opening round of next week's Great West Tournament, hosted by NJIT in Newark, New Jersey. The Wolverines are the conference's first regular season champion after the league moved from two division winners in its first two years to one outright champion in 2011.