Nov. 5, 2011
NEWARK, N.J. - Natalie Young set a pair of school records as the Utah Valley soccer team moved into the Great West Conference tournament championship game with a 4-2 win over North Dakota on Saturday. UVU will face Houston Baptist in a rematch of the 2009 final, also played at NJIT in Newark, on Monday at 2 p.m. ET/noon MT.
Young, who on Thursday was named the Great West Offensive Player and Newcomer of the Year, scored twice in the game and became the school's single-season record holder with 12 goals and 30 points on the year. The Wolverines (11-8-1) also matched the school record for wins in a season, set in 2008.
"She's had a big impact on our program," said head coach Brent Anderson of Young. "She has great speed and the team has adapted to that. Natalie's such a good offensive weapon and as just a sophomore will get even better."
The Fighting Sioux (6-9-3) grabbed an early lead when Rhaya Ballon scored on a rebound following a save by UVU goalkeeper Lauren Sack in the 14th minute.
Utah Valley would score the game's next four goals though, starting in the 24th minute by senior Jaime Lyons on an assist from Regan Clifford. Clifford's pass through the middle found Lyons, who went one-on-one with UND keeper Kristi Hestdalen and knotted the game at 1-1.
Just three minutes later, Young got her first goal of the contest when Camille Broderick's pass from midfield found her in another one-on-one situation and she gave UVU a 2-1 halftime lead.
"North Dakota came out with a lot of energy. Their goal seemed to calm us down and we were actually able to find some rhythm after that," Anderson said. "Our team is confident right now. With 12 goals in the last three games we know we can scored and for the most part we've played well defensively."
Early in the second half, freshman Lexi Robison's first career goal turned out to be the game-winner for Utah Valley. In the 56th minute, Robison stole the ball and scored from 30 yards out to make it 3-1.
Young then added her second goal - on Clifford's second assist of the game - with just over eight minutes left for a three-goal cushion before UND added a late goal.
North Dakota had a 20-15 edge in overall shots, but UVU was on target with 11 of its shots on goal compared to eight for the Sioux.
On Monday, Utah Valley will be going for its second GWC Tournament title and what would be the program's third conference tournament title in five seasons. The Wolverines won the United Soccer Conference tournament championship in 2007.