BYU women’s soccer remains winless after 1-1 tie with Utah

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The BYU women’s soccer team remains winless on the season after a 1-1 tie against rival Utah on Friday night at South Field.

It was a close fight to the bitter end, as neither team could find a second goal to take the edge in this weekend’s edition of the Deseret First Duel.  The Utes found their lone goal in the first half, while Nadia Gomes energized the crowd in the second half with her game-tying goal, and brought the night’s action to a fitting, albeit somewhat disappointing, end for fans on both sides.

The Utes found their lone goal in the first half while Nadia Gomes excited the crowd in the second half with her game-tying goal.

Both teams came out energized in the first half, but neither was able to put a goal on the scoreboard.

The Cougars had several early chances to score, keeping the Utes’ defense on their toes.

Utah proved fit for the task and eventually found the opening goal in the 31st minute. in a counterattack by midfielder Eden Jacobsen.  She received a deep through ball from Paola Van der Veen in stride, burying a shot right past BYU goalkeeper Hannah Clark. BYU ended up outshooting the Utes 5-3 in the first half but were not able to find the back of the net.

Midfielder Eden Jacobsen received a deep through ball from Paola Van der Veen in stride and buried a shot right past BYU goalkeeper Hannah Clark.

BYU ended up outshooting the Utes 5-3 in the first half but were not able to find the back of the net.

The Cougars’ energy picked up as the second half began, and BYU came out looking for a goal.

Immediately after her teammate Cameron Tucker received a yellow card, senior Nadia Gomes finally gave the Cougars the goal they were looking for in the 56th minute.

Utah goalkeeper Carly Nelson lost the ball in the box, and Gomes capitalized off the mistake for her first goal of the season, and the Cougars’ first since August 25 against Cal State Fullerton.

BYU remained the aggressor during much of the second half, but as the end of regulation approached, Utah amped up its offense as well.

Hannah Clark was at the top of her game and came up with three crucial saves in the final minutes to send the game into overtime.

Utah carried that aggression into the overtime period and outshot BYU 4-1 in extra time. Clark’s heroics once again proved vital for BYU and she finished the night with eight saves.

As with any athletic competition between these two schools, the intensity level was high, both on and off the field.  Both teams received just one yellow card each, but physical play was seen throughout.

“We have a team that loves challenges, and they saw this as a big challenge,” said Utah coach Rich Manning. “We played well in this game the past 3-4 years, and haven’t gotten a result, so they were pretty determined to get something out of this.”

A tie is certainly better than a loss, something that Utah has come to be familiar with when facing the Cougars. BYU now leads the all-time series 21-7-2.

“[It’s] always a great game, always a close game between us and Utah,” said BYU coach Jennifer Rockwood. “Great atmosphere. Great battle.”

It was a great atmosphere indeed, with a standing-room-only crowd of 5,367, and plenty of fans from both sides of the rivalry.

The one word that Gomes used to describe the match was “adrenaline.”

The Cougars will look to capture their first win on Monday as they travel to Oregon State to take on the Beavers.