Seniors savor soccer success

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    By Angela Wallace

    When a sweaty pile of teammates dove in a circle near the crowd Friday night, the essence of BYU soccer?s senior night came full circle.

    After senior Brad Peterson?s scored an unassisted goal during the 71st minute, the Cougar dogpile broke out before Peterson left the South Stadium field with an intentional grin.

    ?It was a spectacular way to end the season and my career,? said Peterson, who is headed to medical school in the fall. ?My very first shot at BYU and my very last shot at BYU were goals. So it?s kind of ironic, but I loved it, every minute of it.?

    Although Peterson called the Cougars? 4-0 win over the San Diego Gauchos bittersweet, senior Chris Lamb said it felt good to finish the season on such a high note.

    ?It?s good to be done, but it?s good to go out winning,? said Lamb, who will start dental school in two months. ?I just wanted to win. I didn?t care about anything else.?

    In the ninth minute, Lamb pounded in BYU?s first goal near the right goal post after receiving a pass from Gilbert Gaertner. About nine minutes later, the roles flipped when Lamb crossed it on a breakaway to Gaertner, who finished it past Gaucho goal keeper Timothy Edwards.

    The Cougars tallied 19 shots on goal and averaged about a shot on goal every two minutes during the first 12 minutes of regulation. Even in the second half, BYU kept attacking, which led to the Cougars? fourth goal in the 76th minute when Jeff Jensen split two defenders and assisted Jacob Cavanaugh.

    BYU head coach Chris Watkins said he was proud of another kind of goal ? progress.

    Because BYU has improved each year since it has played in the Premier Development League, Watkins said he couldn?t be more pleased with his team?s efforts, especially the seniors who have experienced the growing pains of stepping up to a semi-pro league from a club level.

    ?I just told our seniors that we?ve been in the basement for a full year; we were locked in the basement,? he said. ?We?re not quite in the penthouse yet, but we?re on our way there. The seniors have an awful lot to be proud of not only academically but on the soccer field, too. It was a great night.?

    Not only did Watkins complement his team?s offense, he also praised the Cougars? defense, which hampered San Diego?s front line and gave them only a few chances to score the entire night.

    ?We were solid defensively,? he said. ?We gave up a little bit, but I thought we did a great job defensively. They didn?t really one good look. So that was exciting to hold a team to that level.?

    Although the Cougars ended with a win and a winning record (8-7-1), they still only have a slim chance to going to playoffs.

    BYU is currently tied with the Fresno Fuego with 25 points, but must wait another week to see how the Fuego fare. If Fresno loses its final two games, the Cougars? season won?t be over and they?ll be heading to the postseason.

    ?Technically, we?re still alive in the playoffs, and we?ll wait around and watch for results,? he said. ?But it doesn?t look good. Either way, we end on a good note. Our seniors have a ton to be proud of.

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