Utah Valley Claims GWC Women's Soccer Tournament Championship
Nov. 7, 2011
NEWARK, N.J. - A goal by Regan Clifford just 12 seconds into the second overtime sent Utah Valley to a 2-1 double-overtime win over Houston Baptist in the 2011 Great West Conference Tournament championship game on Monday.
It was a match pitting the 2009 GWC champion Wolverines against the 2010 GWC champion Huskies. and both teams entered the contest with identical 11-8-1 records. So why would anyone think the contest itself wouldn't also be evenly matched? And that's exactly what it was--even until the opening seconds of the second overtime period.
With the teams locked in a 1-1 tie after 100 minutes of action, Clifford took the opening kick of the second overtime and lofted the ball over the goalkeeper's head for the game-winning - and championship-ending - goal.
"Both teams came out fired up and put each other under a lot of pressure," said UVU head coach Brent Anderson. "We stepped onto the field for the second overtime and asked the players to be shooters and Regan got it and took a 40-yard shot and dropped it in just under the bar."
Houston Baptist (11-9-1) took an early lead with an 11th-minute goal from Molly Missimer on a header from her sister, Kelsey Missimer. It was Molly Missimer's second goal of the tournament, while Kelsey Missimer recorded her second assist in three matches. Amina Radoncic led HBU with three shots on goal and was tied with Molly Missimer for the match high of four shots attempted.
The Wolverines (12-8-1) tied it in the 32nd minute when senior Ashley Burdett's header found the back of the net following a free kick by Lexi Dunn.
The game was then tied for nearly 70 minutes before Clifford - the tournament's MVP - scored her seventh goal of the season to end it.
"We knew this was going to be a battle. We've been in the position many times, where we've been down a goal, and the girls knew how to respond. I'm just really proud of this team," said Anderson.
The shots were nearly even, with the Huskies holding a slight 21-20 edge overall and 8-6 on goal. Jadeshia Colebrook played the first 45 minutes in goal for UVU and had four saves while GWC Defensive Player of the Year Lauren Sack got her 10th win after playing the final 55 minutes. Sack was credited with one save, which came on a potential game-winner for HBU by Cindy Hedden with just five minutes left in regulation.
"This was definitely our best game in the tournament and one of our best games all season," said HBU head coach Misty Jones. "The girls came out hard and played very, very well. We had another Missimer-to-Missimer goal and we were very good on set pieces. There were definitely chances for both teams to score in overtime. It was a very even, well-played game."
The win is UVU's second tournament championship in the league's first three years and caps a season in which the program also won the GWC regular season title and set a school record with its 12 wins on the year. HBU won the tournament last season, giving the Huskies the 2010 championship.
"The girls trained hard over the summer and played hard all season," said Anderson. "We played some very tough teams in preparation for this tournament. I'm just proud of how they responded. The girls had a strong belief they could win the regular season championship and come out and win the tournament."
2011 GWC Women's Soccer All-Tournament Team
Regan Clifford - UVU (Tournament MVP)
Ashley Burdett - UVU
Kelsey Kimball Cook - UVU
Jaime Lyons - UVU
Molly Missimer - HBU
Kelsey Missimer - HBU
Lindsay Matlock - HBU
Megan Anderson - UND
Rachel Loomis - UND
Dominique Brown - SCSU
Sara Harris - SCSU