By LESLIE ARMSTRONG
BYU booted the Utes in overtime last night to defend its home-game winning streak and, after 94 minutes of play, finally escape the abusive weather.
For the players who had dominated the game and felt they deserved to win, and for the 783 devoted fans who battled the storm, the final goal of the game was a welcome one.
The entire game was intense for players and fans alike. Storms and intense play began early.
In the first half BYU outshot the University of Utah 10-0. Redshirt Natalyn Orchard said, “I thought we totally dominated the first half. We came out fired up and ready to play the game.”
For the Cougars it seemed like bad luck when they couldn’t capitalize on any of the 10 shots on goal. “We just couldn’t quite get them in the net,” said head coach Jennifer Rockwood.
Rockwood felt good about the team’s performance, though. “I felt we played a tremendous game,” Rockwood said. “We dominated the first half, and at halftime I told the girls to be patient and keep doing what they were doing.”
That is exactly what the Cougars did, and it finally paid off.
Eleven minutes into the second half forward Shauna Rohbock cracked the net with a shot to the upper left corner, off an assist from Maren Hendershot.
The Utes increased the pressure after that and managed to score less than 10 minutes later. But Cougar defenders came up big to keep BYU in the running for a victory.
Because of the Cougar defense, the Utes had only four shots on goal in the second half. Junior Laurel Simpson was a key defender for the Cougars.
“Laurel played a very strong game, very composed,” Rockwood said.
BYU continued to outshoot the Utes in the second half, and Karen Robbins finally found the net for the second BYU goal. Robbins put the Cougars in the lead with four minutes to go in regulation.
The Utes retaliated with an emotional goal one minute later to bring the score to a 2-2.
At the end of regulation the score was still tied, and the game went into overtime. No one seemed happy about that, considering the intensity of the game and the torrential storm that started moments after overtime began.
Rohbock said she was eager to get out of the storm and finish the game. She proved that with her game-winning goal less than five minutes into overtime.
“You couldn’t even see out there,” said Rohbock after the game. “I meant to just put it away and get out of this stuff.”
The Cougars return to South Field today for a 6 p.m. game against Santa Barbara.