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Frischknecht, UVU Put the ‘Trick’ on Defending WAC Champion

It is trick or treat season and the UVU men’s soccer team gave defending WAC champion UNLV a taste of both on Friday night in Las Vegas.

The Wolverines put the trick on by jumping out to a 3-0 lead early in the second half. The treat came at the end of the match where UVU held off the furious Rebel rally to pick up a crucial 3-2 win and three points in the WAC standings. 

“We knew it was going to be a very intense match and it certainly lived-up to that. Our backs are against the wall and we need points. This win was massive on so many levels,” said UVU head coach Greg Maas. “Today was about grit and heart and that was Utah Valley at its very best. Credit to UNLV for battling back, but we dug-in deep and got the result that we deserved.”

BYU transfer Blake Frischknecht put UVU up 1-0 in the 43rd minute. It is the first goal for Frischknecht and couldn’t have come at a better time. Frischknecht played at Centennial High School in Las Vegas so it was a homecoming of sorts for the sophomore.

“It’s pretty exciting. Coming here feels like home. I’ve played on this field probably more than at Clyde Field. It was a good experience,” Frischknecht said. “I knew it was going to be heated game. I know almost all the guys on that (UNLV) team so I knew what to expect.”

Paul Hoffmeister (left) and Blake Frischknecht (right) each scored goals to help UVU earn a big 3 points in 3-2 win over UNLV on Thursday night. Photo courtesy of UVU Athletics.

The Wolverines tacked on two more goals in the second half to take a commanding lead. Karson Payton scored his first goal of the season on a free kick that found the back of the net in the 55th minute. Then, Paul Hoffmeister converted on a penalty kick in the 60th minute in what became the game-winner. The goal by Hoffmeister was the 21st of his career and moves him into first all-time at UVU. 

UNLV made the match interesting by scoring a goal in the 62nd minute and then again in the 88th minute. The Rebels continued to put pressure on but UVU goalkeeper Joseph Wheelwright snuffed out the chances to secure the win. 

UVU improves to 3-3-2 in WAC play with 11 points. The Wolverines are currently in 5th place in the WAC standings. UVU is 3-0-1 in its last four matches after going through an 8-match winless streak. Big time turn around for the Wolverines and just at the right time. 

UVU travels to Phoenix to take on GCU in a Sunday night match that has big implications for both teams. It’s probably that a win for either team makes them a lock for a berth in the WAC Tournament Nov. 8-12 in Las Vegas. A loss could be costly and potentially end the season for the loser. 

Updated WAC Men’s Soccer Standings

Here is a look at the updated standings for men’s soccer in the Western Athletic Conference.

Each team, outside of UTRGV and Incarnate Word, has two matches left. UVU didn’t get a lot of help last night as CSU Bakersfield won in overtime and GCU played to a draw against Seattle. 

UVU takes on GCU on Sunday in what has now become a huge match for both teams. Seattle travels to Las Vegas to take on UNLV on Sunday, as well. CSU Bakersfield hosts league-leader Air Force while San Jose State hosts UMKC. Sunday is a huge day for men’s soccer all around in the WAC. And we agree with the WAC’s tweet from last night. 

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