The men’s soccer team continued their impressive form with a 4-1 home victory over Utah Valley University Wednesday night.
The scoring started early for the Cougars. Tanner Whitworth, who scored a hat trick last game, put BYU up 1-0 just 15 seconds into the match.
Cameron McLaughlin jumped in on the action in the 21st minute, sending the ball into the back of the net off of Seth Fankhauser’s assist. The goal came as a welcome surprise after McLaughlin struggled to find the back of the net in the past two matches.
“I made a run behind and [Fankhauser] played a great ball to me,” McLaughlin said. “I saw the near post opening and I was able to find it.”
BYU goalkeeper Austin Bagley also came up big for the team in the match. He kept the Wolverines scoreless in the first half and had a crucial save in the 48th minute on a UVU penalty kick.
“Right when he started running up I knew what side he was going to,” Bagley said. “I could read his approach and his body language.”
The Cougars came back from halftime a little too comfortable with their 2-0 lead. In the 65th minute, Jakob Kujanpaa capitalized off of a lost ball in the BYU box and found the back of the net for the Wolverines.
“It’s always the soccer downfall– that 2-0 lead when you feel comfortable,” said coach Brandon Gilliam. “We weren’t pushing as hard as we were before. We had to get back to where we were before the goal and start playing a little bit better.”
Jacob Ence, the hero from the game on Sept. 27 against Utah, nearly put the game away for the Cougars in the 68th minute, but a UVU defender came flying in and cleared the ball away just before it touched the goal line.
This wouldn’t be the last opportunity, however, as Seth Fankhauser and Christian Bain went on to score in the 76th and 85th minutes, respectively.
“Overall we played pretty well, we created a lot of chances,” Gilliam said of the team’s 19 shots taken. “McLaughlin played fantastic and he was the one kind of around the ball every time we scored a goal, so big credit to him tonight for his performance.”
The team will host their alumni game Friday, Oct. 6 at 5 p.m. MDT, then travel north to play Boise State on Oct. 13.