With the regular season nearly wrapped up, the BYU men’s soccer team dropped its last away game of the season, 2-1, to the Ogden Outlaws on Saturday night.
This was the fourth time the two teams have met this season and the first time Ogden has ever defeated the Cougars on the Outlaws’ home field. In the 22 games these in-state rivals have played, Ogden has only beat BYU three times.
The Cougars continued to suffer from the inability to put shots in the back of the net. The team’s lone goal was the product of 17 shots throughout the game.
“Overall I felt we had the better run of play, and we certainly had the chances,” BYU coach Chris Watkins said in a news release. “All the credit in the world to their keeper [Devin Zimmerman] who had a couple of amazing saves.”
The first half of the match was packed with action. The Cougars struck first when sophomore forward David Gates, a transfer from Oregon State, scored in the 29th minute. It was Gates’ second goal of the season.
Late in the first half, Ogden forward Elias Hatungimana scored the equalizing goal by chipping the ball over BYU goalkeeper Cory Cosgrave in the 44th minute. The teams took the 1-1 draw into halftime.
The second half turned more into a physical battle. The game logged a total of 29 fouls, the majority coming from the Outlaws in the second half.
“It was a physical game,” BYU sophomore defender Junior Lartey said. “We kept our heads and stayed calm while Ogden was fouling and yelling and lost it mentally.”
Ogden tipped the scales in the 67th minute by scoring off a free kick.
“They had a cross from 25 out, and the ball came across the goal,” Lartey said. “One of their players headed it back, and the ball bounced in. It was a heartbreaker for sure.”
BYU continued to pressure the Outlaws for the rest of the game but could not get shots through the woodwork, and Ogden came away with the win.
This was Ogden’s second victory of the season, and the Cougars’ fourth road loss. BYU now has a season record of 3-8-4.
“Our record doesn’t show how good we are,” senior defender Lance Smith said in an online interview, “with all of these little goals and 88th minute losses.”
BYU had more than just game preparations to focus on this week. The Cougars were also running youth soccer camps Monday through Thursday. The players and coaches stand in the sun for two different three to four hour blocks helping the local youth improve their soccer skills.
When asked if running the camps had an effect on the team’s performance Saturday night, Lartey said, “If anything the heat was the biggest factor, otherwise we were ready to play.”
The Cougars play their last game of the season at home Thursday at 8 p.m. against the LA Blues 23.