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The Weber State University women’s soccer team got on the winning side of its second double-overtime match of the week when it defeated the Utah Valley University Wolverines by a score of 2-1 in Orem, Utah, last Thursday night. The win improved the team’s record to 2-0-1, and 1-0-1 in overtime games this season.
The Wildcats started the game off strong by attacking the goal in the first 10 minutes, forcing the Wolverines’ goalkeeper, Lauren Sack, to make saves and putting pressure on the defense.
On a counterattack, the Wolverines responded with some pressure of their own when Natalie Baker received a long ball that freed her in the box. Baker put the ball in the back of the net, which gave the Wolverines the early lead, 1-0. After 14 shots on goal in the first half and forcing Sack to make five saves, the Wildcats were still searching for a way to get on the scoreboard.
The Wildcats once again came out firing at the start of the second half. They evened the score in the 49th minute when senior Alyssa Amano launched the ball from 25 yards out into the upper left side of the net. The ball slipped past some defenders, and when Amano found herself open, she took the shot and beat the keeper. That goal evened the score to 1-1, and the Wildcats continued to attack when they had the ball.
The Wildcats’ defense also played a huge role in keeping the team in the game. Senior goalkeeper Ryann Waldman didn’t have to make a save in regulation, as the Wildcats outshot the Wolverines 25-8, eight of those being on goal. Both teams struggled to find the back of the net after Amano’s goal, and the score was still 1-1 when the referee called for time.
“Since we are in-state rivals, you could tell that we both wanted to win the game,” Amano said. “I feel like when we scored the first goal, it gave us a huge confidence-boost not only for the first half, but for the rest of the game as well.”
The Wolverines forced Waldman to make her first two saves of the night in the first overtime when they pushed the pace and were pressing forward, wanting to capitalize on the home-field advantage and secure their first win of the year. But the Wildcats wouldn’t give up. They were able to keep the score 1-1 after the first 15 minutes of overtime. Then, in the 103rd minute, substitute Mackenzie Day received a through ball into the box from Marissa Yamane and put the ball into the right corner, out of reach of Sack, ending the game.
Sophomore Chansi Crompton said she felt like the team played well and deserved to get the win in a tough environment, but that she doesn’t want to get complacent as the team heads out on the road for the next few games.
“It was their home opener, so it was kind of a difficult place to play, but we created a lot of chances and capitalized when we needed to,” Crompton said. “Of course, we have things that we need to improve on, but it is a good start to the season. We are hoping to get good results when we play Boise and Washington State this coming-up weekend.”
The Wildcats will return to action against Boise State University in Boise, Idaho, on Sept. 6. They will play five of their next six games on the road.