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GWC Soccer Tournament Championship Set as Howard and Utah Valley Advance


Howard celebrates the upset victory over Houston Baptist to advance to GWC Tournament championship game to face top-seed and defending champ Utah Valley

Howard celebrates the upset victory over Houston Baptist to advance to GWC Tournament championship game to face top-seed and defending champ Utah Valley

Nov. 4, 2012

HBU-Howard Photo Gallery

Utah Valley-SCSU Photo Gallery

OREM, Utah - No. 6 seed Howard shocked No. 2 seed Houston Baptist, while top-seeded Utah Valley hung on to defeat No. 5 seed South Carolina State to advance to the championship game of the 2012 GWC Women's Soccer Tournament at Orem, Utah. The title match between the Bison and Wolverines will be played Monday, at 7 p.m. (MT) at UVU's Clyde Field.

Howard 2, Houston Baptist 1

No. 6 seed Howard scored twice in the final 15 minutes to upset No. 2 seed Houston Baptist, 2-1, in the first semifinal match of the Great West Conference Soccer Tournament Sunday at Clyde Field in Orem, Utah.

The Huskies got on the scoreboard early as first-team All-GWC honoree Arielle Rodriguez gave HBU a 1-0 lead with an unassisted goal in the 5th minute. Rodriguez dribbled the ball through the defense and scored from 18 yards out, hitting the lower right corner of the net. It was her third goal of the season and her second tally in as many matches.

HBU maintained the pressure after Rodriguez's goal, as Amina Radoncic's and first-team All-Conference performer Molly Missimer's shots were both blocked by the defense five minutes after the goal.

Missimer nearly made it 2-0 Huskies in the 33rd minute, as her shot hit the crossbar. Two minutes later, Howard's Jordan Brown, an All-GWC honoree, also hit the crossbar.

HBU (10-7-3) outshot the Bison 11-7 in the first half, while corner kicks were even at two apiece.

Missimer was denied twice in the 68th minute, as her shot was saved by the Howard defense, she got the rebound, and her second shot was blocked.

In the 76th minute, both Ally Murphy and Brown got a yellow card and the Bison were awarded a penalty kick. Treschelle Gibson-Serrett took the pk and tied the match at one.

Just seven minutes later, in the 83rd minute, Howard, which had defeated No. 3 seed NJIT on Saturday, took its first lead of the match, as Brown scored assisted by Nia Walcott. Walcott fed Brown to the left side of the box and Brown snuck the ball into the lower left corner of the net for a 2-1 lead for Howard.

HBU tried to tie it up in the last seven minutes but Missimer had a shot saved by All-GWC honoree Kyra Dickinson, and Rebekah Tovar and Natalie Hager, an all-conference selection, each had shots go just wide.

HBU outshot Howard 21-11 in the match and had a 4-3 advantage in corner kicks.

Missimer had a match-high eight shots and five shots on goal for HBU. All-GWC honoree Shelby Horn took the loss in goal, allowing two goals while making one save in 90 minutes.

Brown and Sydney Ross each led Howard (4-15-2) with three shot attempts, while Ross had a team-high two shots on goal. Dickinson earned the win in goal, making eight saves and allowing one goal in 90 minutes.

at Utah Valley 5, South Carolina State 2

Utah Valley University blew open a 2-2 score with three goals in the last nine minutes to grab a 5-2 win over South Carolina State in the semifinals of the Great West Conference Tournament Sunday night at Clyde Field.

Four Wolverines scored in the match and Jaime Lyons finished with four assists - a program record for a single game.

A 2-0 UVU halftime lead was erased by a pair of SCSU goals less than ten minutes apart. After an unusual goal from the Bulldogs' Breia Pierce, Blanca Barrio tied the match in the 80th minute with a bending free kick from 30 yards. Both Pierce and Barrio received All-GWC honors just prior to the tournament.

The momentum suddenly favoring SCSU (8-12-0), the Wolverine attack exploded over the final 10 minutes. Haley Curtis, an All-GWC performer, played the hero only two minutes after the SCSU equalizer, flying into the attacking third off a feed from Lyons. One-on-one with the keeper, Curtis maneuvered the ball around the Bulldogs' Danielle Murphy and slammed the go-ahead goal into the open net.

Unsatisfied, the Wolverines (8-11-1) put the match away in the 88th minute. Looking for another tally, Curtis fired a shot from the left side that rattled the crossbar. The rebound came out to Lyons who found Shalayne Janis lurking just inside the 18. Janis' right-footed attempt glanced off both the crossbar and the left post before nestling into the net.

It was then Kim Stratford's turn 66 seconds later, as she took a pass from Lyons and laced a drive from 12 yards out to settle the tightly contested match with a deceiving 5-2 score line. The final goal, coming with just 12 seconds showing on the clock, gave Lyons her school-record fourth assist on the night.

Janis, who also tallied in the first half, finished the match with two goals. All-GWC selection Lexi Robison opened the scoring in the fourth minute, blasting a hard shot from 25 yards into the upper left corner.

Goalkeeper Lauren Sack, the two-time GWC Defensive Player of the Year, finished with three saves, but found herself on the wrong end of SCSU's first goal. The Bulldogs' Pierce lifted a high volley that fell easily into the hands of a backpedaling Sack. However, her backward momentum carried her, and the ball, over the goal line, putting SCSU on the scoreboard.

Monday's championship match will be televised locally on UVU-TV and streamed live at www.uvu.edu/uvutv. It will also be re-aired on Fox College Sports Pacific within the next few days.

The Wolverines are looking for their second straight GWC tournament championship, as UVU won last year's title with a 2-1 double-overtime win over HBU in Newark, N.J.