BYU mens’ soccer defeats CMU with new strategy

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BYU soccer defeated Colorado Mesa University 2-0 in the last exhibition game of the season on Saturday.

BYU was able to maintain possession and control throughout the game.

Garrett Gee attempts to outrun a player. (Photo by Sarah Hill)
Garrett Gee attempts to outrun a player. (Photo by Sarah Hill)

“Our backs were super wide, we could play the ball side to side,” coach Chris Watkins said. “I was nervous, because the first time you try that against a team that’s capable of beating you, you worry you will give up a couple of goals. Thankfully, they did a great job. They really showed how coachable they were today, and I was really proud of that.”

The match-up began with a slow first half for both teams. BYU midfielder Jace Green scored the first and only goal of the half off a corner kick. BYU maintained possession throughout most of the half, switching the ball from defense to offense to gain advantage over Colorado-Mesa University.

“We’ve really worked in practice trying to knock the ball back,” assistant coach Chad Sackett said. “When they press us and we don’t have anywhere to go, we’ve been able to lay it back. We did really well with that tonight.”

A yellow card was awarded to BYU’s Matt Rider after illegal contact. The half ended with two shots on goal by BYU and one by CMU. Each team was awarded one corner kick.

BYU came out strong in the second half with a shot on goal in the 47th minute. BYU quickly regained possession to score in the 49th minute. Green had a second goal of the night, sliding the ball past the goalie into the left corner of the net.

“We got wide, and Kip (Critchlow) made a good run,” Green said. “Instead of going line, he chose to cut it in and found the gap. He slid it through and shot and scored. It was a good feeling and nice development.”

CMU played past the defense in the 57th minute in order to take a shot on goal. The shot hit the left goal post, flying back into the CMU possession. A Maverick player returned the shot, saved at the last second by a BYU defender blocking the goal.

A second yellow card was awarded to Tanner Whitworth of BYU in the 77th minute. The referees continued to call penalties on BYU, to many disapproving cheers from the crowd. The night ended with a 2-0 score.

The BYU Cougars begin regular season play on Tuesday, May 7, against the Pali Blues.

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