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UVU Roundup: Wolverines claim top seed in WAC women’s soccer tournament

By Darnell Dickson daily Herald - | Apr 11, 2021
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The UVU women's soccer team celebrates winning a share of the WAC title after defeating Dixie State, 3-0, at Clyde Field in Orem on Saturday, April 10, 2021.

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The Utah Valley women's soccer team gets pumped up before a match.

The 2020-21 WAC Women’s Soccer Tournament bracket has been announced and regular season co-champion Utah Valley will be the top seed at GCU Stadium in Phoenix.

“We thought it was pivotal that we get the No. 1 seed and we knew that with three points tonight against Dixie State that we would accomplish that,” said Utah Valley head coach Chris Lemay. “We’re looking forward to playing either New Mexico State or UT Rio Grande Valley. They are both really quality programs, but I think our players will be up to the challenge and we look forward to it.”

It took all 14 conference matches for the Wolverines to clinch the No. 1 seed as they locked up the top spot with a 3-0 win over Dixie State on Saturday night at Clyde Field.

With the win, Utah Valley wrapped up regular season play with an 11-4-3 overall record and a 10-2-2 mark in WAC play. The Wolverines win a share of the WAC regular season title with Seattle U, which also finished the season with a 10-2-2 record in WAC play. UVU picked up the win on senior night as Cassidy McCormick, Amanda Mangelson, Brenna Crow, and Siri Dahl were honored in a ceremony prior to kickoff.

“This is really special for a lot of reasons,” Lemay said. “It’s our first-ever WAC regular season championship. We were able to celebrate four seniors before the game that have come through this program. They have been so instrumental in building this program and helping us claim a share of the WAC title tonight.”

Utah Valley got on the scoreboard in the 13th minute after Breanna Eves passed it to Amber Tripp on the right side of the field. Tripp then sent the ball into the box to Jenna Shepherd, who headed it into the back of the net to give UVU a 1-0 lead. The goal is Shepherd’s fifth of the season and her fifth goal in UVU’s last five matches.

Eves settled a loose ball near the top of the box and faked a shot with her right foot to free herself up against a DSU defender and then fired a shot with her left foot toward the far post and into the back of the net for the score from 30 yards out. The 35th-minute goal gave the Wolverines a 2-0 advantage. The goal is the first goal of Eve’s career.

Amber Tripp passed it to Cassidy McCormick on the left side of the box. McCormick then sent the ball into the box where London Miller headed it into the net for the score to extend UVU’s lead to a 3-0 advantage in the 65th minute. The goal is Miller’s fifth score of the season.

Isabel Jones-Dawe picked up the shutout win in the box for the Wolverines. The senior keeper recorded three saves on the night en route to her ninth win of the season.

Utah Valley outshot Dixie State 19-6 on the night, including a 9-3 advantage on goal. UVU had 12 corner kicks to DSU’s four. Sadie Brockbank led the Wolverines with a match-high six shots, including one on frame. Julianna Carter had three shots, while Shepherd, Miller, and Amanda Mangelson each had two.

Following a first-round bye, Utah Valley will take on the winner of No. 4 UT Rio Grande Valley and No. 5 NM State at 3 p.m. MT on Thursday.

Seattle U earns the second seed after capturing a share of the regular season WAC title. The Redhawks will play the winner of No. 3 Grand Canyon and No. 6 Chicago State at 9 p.m MDT on Thursday.

The third seed goes to Grand Canyon. The Lopes went 7-4-1 in WAC play and will play sixth-seed Chicago State at 8 p.m. MDT on Tuesday.

UT Rio Grande Valley heads to The Grand Canyon State as the fourth seed. The Vaqueros will take on NM State, who earned the fifth seed, at 4 p.m. MDT on Tuesday.

All five matches will be broadcast live on ESPN+. In addition, the WAC Digital Network will produce an international-only feed at http://wacdigitalnetwork.com.

Extra innings highlight baseball series

vs. UTRGV

EDINBURG, Texas — Andrew Hacker blasted out his first collegiate home run with a two-run shot in the 11th inning in Saturday’s nightcap to help propel Utah Valley to a doubleheader split on Saturday afternoon over UT Rio Grande Valley at UTRGV Baseball Stadium in Edinburg, Texas.

After dropping the first game of the day, 5-4, UVU responded with the late game heroics to claim game two by a score of 6-5.

With the nightcap all tied up at 4-4 in the 11th, Hacker lined a ball over the leftfield wall for what proved to be the winning home run. Devin Smith then came on to pitch the last of the 11th and managed to record the save after inducing a game-ending 6-4-3 double play to leave the tying run stranded on second base.

The final game of the series on Sunday featured more extra-inning heroics, this time for the home team.

With the game all tied up at 2-2 in the last of the 10th inning, UT Rio Grande Valley’s Angel De La Cruz belted out a walk-off grand slam down the leftfield line to lift UTRGV to a 6-2 extra-inning win over Utah Valley on Sunday afternoon at UTRGV Baseball Stadium.

With the victory, the defending WAC champion Vaqueros take three of four to claim the WAC series and improve to 16-17 overall and 8-8 in conference play. UVU falls to 6-23 overall and 4-12 in league play with the setback.

Seattle U rallies to beat Wolverine softballIt was a game that featured several big hits from both sides, but Seattle University got the last crushing blow to win 9-6 over Utah Valley University and take the rubber match, winning the WAC series on Saturday afternoon. The big blow was a rare, inside-the-park home run with two on and two outs in the top of the seventh inning from Stephanie Merwin.

The Wolverines (15-19, 3-6) trailed by as much as four runs but clawed back and eventually tied the game at 6-6 in the bottom of the sixth. But in the seventh, the Redhawks (17-16, 4-2) got a leadoff single and a one-out walk before Merwin’s heroics. With a full count and two down, Merwin hit a high fly ball to deep center near the top of the wall and eventually beat the relay throw home. Merwin finished with four RBIs in the game.

Linnah Rebolledo was 3-for-4 with three RBIs, and Madison Carr also went 3-for-4 for Utah Valley. Rien Milliken homered in the fifth inning for her team-high sixth home run of the year.

The Wolverines will now play a midweek game at 6 p.m. MDT on Wednesday at BYU before returning to WAC play against Dixie State in the Old Hammer Rivalry in a series that begins Friday in Orem.

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