Soccer season begins with a draw

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The nets at South Field remained undisturbed Thursday night as  both the Cougars and the Misioneros went scoreless.

“I thought we were a little nervous tonight,” BYU head coach Chris Watkins said. “We didn’t find rhythm in our attack. We were great all through the preseason, but tonight, we looked a little nervous.”

BYU came out strong with a shot on goal in the first minute of the game. However, after David Gates’ header failed to go in, the Misioneros tightened up their defense and the game became bogged down in the midfield.

“We crowded the midfield with our formation,” Watkins said. “That forced them to use the outside lanes to bring the ball down the field and make an extra pass before they could shoot. Ultimately, it gave us a good chance to keep zeroes on the board.”

[media-credit name=”Photo by Chris Bunker” align=”alignleft” width=”300″][/media-credit]
BYU forward Jace Green takes a shot against Real Salt Lake during last week's game
When the ball did make it into BYU territory, the Cougar defense held up well and severely limited the LA club’s shots on goal. BYU goalkeeper Brian Hale stopped the balls that did come his way and earned a shut out on his first PDL start.

“I always say to myself ‘no goals’ when the attack comes down the field,” Hale said. “We played great defense tonight and when I did have to stop a ball, it was just a matter of reacting quickly and doing what I’ve been practicing.”

The Cougars are looking forward to a big win on Saturday when they play the Fresno Fuego at 8 p.m. on South Field. They will have to play without starting midfielder Dallin Cutler who will have to sit the game out after receiving two yellow cards during Thursday’s match. Cutler was given his first yellow in the first half and then a second with less than a minute to go in game stoppage time.

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