OREM — Utah Valley men’s soccer team made its debut as a program Saturday night versus Massachusetts, and if judging by just one game, the program has a chance to be pretty good.
The Wolverines took it to the visiting Minutemen early and often and came away with an impressive 5-1 win in front of 2,610 fans packed into Clyde Field.
Five different players found the back of the net for UVU, beginning with freshman Karson Payton scoring off a nice cross from fellow freshman Paul Hoffmeister with just over five minutes gone in the match.
"That was just amazing scoring that first goal and I don't even remember exactly how it happened to be honest," Payton said. "I remember Paul made a great pass and fortunately I did enough to score."
UMass equaled things up soon after off a header from Mark Morris at the 32:58 mark, but then it was all Wolverines.
Freshman David Adams came through at the 17:51 mark of the first half. Freshman Austin Buxton tallied his at the 11:34 mark before freshman Lucas Cawley capped off the first half scoring with just 1:40 left to give UVU a commanding 4-1 lead at the half.
Freshman Matt Gay provided the lone goal in the second half, booting a shot through at the 28:49 mark for a 5-1 lead, which proved to be the final score.
As could be imagined, UVU coach Greg Maas was overjoyed with the result.
"I'll tell you straight away (that) it was a dream come true," he said. "Today was a lot of hard work from so many people on and off the field. To come out and put up five goals on a very respected program was nothing short of a dream come true for us."
Chief among the attending fans was Dieter Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Uchtdorf made the trip down from Salt Lake City to support program, but mostly out of simple love for the game.
"I just love soccer and love watching the game whenever I can," Uchtdorf, a native of World Cup champion Germany, said. "I love the game and love supporting great soccer programs like the one they're building here at Utah Valley."
President Uchtdorf was all smiles kicking around the ball with Utah Valley administrators prior to the match and took time to address the Wolverines before they took the field.
With the win, UVU starts the season 1-0 and will now head out on the road to take on DePaul Sept. 5 and Loyola Chicago Sept. 7 before returning home to take on Gonzaga Sept. 12.