An unlucky bounce in the second minute of stoppage time was all the LA Misioneros needed to put in the winning goal against a stellar BYU defense.
The Cougars kept an aggressive LA offense in check for 90 plus minutes, but it wasn’t enough to come away with a win.
“The way that the game works, sometimes the other team can get that sneak goal in at the very end.” Defender James Bindrup said. “It was a tough loss.”
BYU came out in the second half looking to score with multiple chances from forward Jace Green and midfielder Romy Lakip. Unfortunately, the LA keeper was more than a match for the Cougars.
“In the second half we were able to put it on the floor and create some more chances, but if you don’t have someone who can score, life gets tough.” head coach Chris Watkins said. “I am proud of 99 percent of what we did today.”
It was a physical game that saw players from both teams receive yellow cards. BYU possessed the ball for much of the second half and won multiple 50/50 balls to create chances. Green broke away late in the second half and had a one-on-one chance against the LA keeper but his shot went just wide.
The Misioneros had a similar chance at the end of the first half when a forward poked it past BYU goalkeeper Brian Hale to a streaking teammate, but Junior Sterling Hancock dove in front of the shot and headed it away. The herculean effort kept the score tied at 0 going into the half.
Cougar midfielder Jonathon Junca collided with an LA player early in the first half and was substituted out for Sophomore Kip Critchlow. This was just the first of five substitutions for BYU throughout the game.
“We wanted to play our full roster,” Watkins said, “and play a bunch of guys so we could have some legs tomorrow.”
The Cougars didn’t hold anything back against the physical Misioneros.
“With soccer, it’s all about the moment,” Bindrup added, “you put every ounce of energy you have into what’s happening with the ball at that moment.”
BYU now turns it attention to tomorrow night’s (June 1) match against Fresno. The Cougars battled the Fuego to a draw earlier in the year in Fresno.
“Although we tied them last game, we were defending the entire game.” Watkins said. “They’re good.”
Kickoff is at 7:30 pm and tickets are $3 for students and $6 for adults.