It looked like the Cougars were going to blow another great win opportunity until the 89th minute, when freshman Blake Frischnecht slipped the ball past the Southern California keeper to score the only goal of the match.
It was Frischnecht’s first appearance for the Cougars. After subbing in for Romy Lakip midway through the second half, Frischnecht help control the ball at midfield, creating chances for the BYU offense.
Prior to Frischnecht’s goal, it looked like the Cougars were going to have to settle for the tie, as chance after chance failed to find the back of the net. Forward Jonathan Junca created multiple chances for the Cougars, but the team was unable to connect when the Seahorses’ keeper made a couple of great stops.
“This was our best offensive output as far as shots,” head coach Chris Watkins said. “We had 21 shots and eight corners. We did a lot of things well.”
BYU also had a goal called back early in the first ten minutes of the game because of an unfortunate offside call. A few more offside calls in the first half against the Cougars ruined a few breakaway opportunities.
The Southern California offense had its chances in the first half as well but was stopped by BYU goalkeeper Brian Hale. Hale tallied five saves in the first half, one of which came in the 27th minute when a Seahorse forward broke free and had a one-on-one opportunity. Hale calmly stepped up and made a great read, which prevented Southern California from taking the lead.
The Cougars were able to fix those small defensive mishaps in the second half and didn’t give up a single shot on goal. BYU kept the pressure on the Seahorses’ half and had many chances to score. Each chance was stopped by the Southern California keeper in a great performance.
BYU used all five of its allotted substitutions, and Watkins opted to play a younger group to see if they would have any more luck at scoring. Two freshmen and a relatively inexperienced junior made the difference for the Cougars.
The Cougars now travel to Southern California to face the Seahorses on their home field. The match is scheduled for Thursday, June 27, at 7:00 p.m. BYU doesn’t return home to South Field until Thursday, July 4, when it hosts FC Tuscon.
The win puts the Cougars within one game of fourth place in the Southwest division of the PDL.