Sunday heartbreaker: 90th-minute goal sinks Grizzlies
Published: September 11, 2011
Utah Valley’s Ashley Burdett headed in the game-winning goal with nine seconds remaining to give the Wolverines a 2-1 victory over the Grizzlies Sunday afternoon at South Campus Stadium in the final match of the Montana Cup.
The loss was the third straight for the Grizzlies, who dropped to 3-3-0 on the season.
Montana was unable to gain possession and clear the ball out of its own end in the closing seconds of regulation, and Utah Valley took advantage.
Jaime Lyons found space near the end line to the right of the goal and sent a hard drive toward the front of Montana’s net. Burdett redirected the drive past UM keeper Kendra McMillen and shocked the home crowd just after the 10-second countdown had begun.
“It was just a situation where the ball was in our end, and their player got a little bit of space and played a good ball in,” UM coach Mark Plakorus said.
“It was a 50-50 ball, and they got their head on it and we didn’t. It was a bang-bang play. When you’re that close and the ball is hit that hard, it doesn’t take a lot to redirect it.
“It’s not always that you did anything wrong. Sometimes goals get scored because the other team does good things.”
The loss overshadowed an excellent performance for the Grizzlies, who just two days earlier dropped an ugly 4-0 decision to North Dakota State.
Montana outshot Utah Valley 9 to 3 in the first half and 17 to 10 for the match and created more opportunities than its one goal would indicate.
“I’m very proud of the girls and the way they responded today. Today was a team that looked a lot more like the team I’ve seen play over the last few weeks,” Plakorus said.
“I thought we played very well. We definitely created enough opportunities.”
Montana kept play in Utah Valley’s end in the opening minutes, but the Wolverines struck first in the 14th minute.
Natalie Young advanced the ball up the left side of the field almost to the end line, and her crossing pass into the 18-yard box was redirected into the goal by Haley Curtis for her third goal of the season.
Utah Valley took a 1-0 lead to the locker room despite Montana’s early offensive advantage.
Sophomore India Watne tied the score in the 69th minute, just seconds after junior Erin Craig’s corner kick.
Utah Valley attempted to clear a loose ball from in front of its own goal and it went directly to Watne, who was positioned on the left side of the 18-yard box. Her drive from 20 yards out found the goal inside the right post.
It was Watne’s second goal of the season.
The Wolverines had the better scoring chances in the final 15 minutes, when they took five of their 10 shots for the match and two of their three corner kicks.
Watne, Craig and freshman Paytyn Wheeler took 11 of Montana’s 17 shots in the match, with Watne and Craig each taking four.
Utah Valley’s Lauren Sack made four saves in goal to pick up the victory. McMillen, who played all 90 minutes, dropped to 1-1-0 on the season with the loss.
Montana will see a familiar opponent next Friday when the Grizzlies meet North Dakota State at Fargo, N.D. The Bison (4-2-0) lost to Idaho (3-3-2) Sunday morning at South Campus Stadium, 3-2.
Montana’s trip will conclude with a match at North Dakota next Sunday.