BYU men’s soccer remains undefeated after close call with FC Tucson

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Cold weather and a slow start didn’t deny BYU a win.

The Cougars men’s soccer team boasts a perfect 7-0 record after defeating FC Tucson 3-2 May 8.

The Cougars celebrate after breaking the tie, to bring the game to 3-2 against FC Tucson. Photo by Natalie Stoker
The Cougars celebrate after breaking the tie to bring the game to 3-2 against FC Tucson. (Photo by Natalie Stoker)

“I don’t think today was our best match by any stretch,” said BYU head coach Chris Watkins. “We played well enough in the offensive third to score some goals, and I am proud of that.”

The first half was an offensive stalemate for both teams as they struggled to find a rhythm. In the 31st minute FC Tucson found a path to the goal and went up 1-0.

Despite the slow start and going down early in the first half BYU battled back as junior Matt Rider tied the game 1-1 before going to halftime.

“We started very slow; they got the early goal, but we weren’t worried,” said PDL Player of the Week Blake Frischknecht.”Last week we went down, came back and got our goals. This week in the second half the game opened up a little bit, and we finished our chances.”

BYU struck early in the second half as it came out of the locker room looking more awake and playing with more energy.

In the 52nd minute Kip Critchlow, a junior from Salt Lake, scored off of an assist from senior Scott Heaton.

FC Tucson stormed back immediately as Ricardo Velazco tied the game 2-2.

“It felt good to get the go ahead goal,” Critchlow said. “But to have them tie it right back again was kind of upsetting.”

The defensive battle continued as the teams stayed tied until the 76th minute, when sophomore Winston Sorhaitz scored the winning goal off of another assist from Heaton.

“This is a great team we played; they have tons of talent on their team,” Watkins said. “Anytime we can beat a team as good as FC Tucson we are thrilled.”

When asked about what needs to happen in practice this week, both players and coaches admitted they need to play stronger in the first half.

“We gotta come out in the first half,” Critchlow said, “because if we don’t play in the first half we might not come back in the second half.”

BYU did make improvements this week as one of its main goals was to be effective from wide. The Cougars scored on three crosses, two of the which were headers.

“We found a way to get the win; I’m proud,” Watkins said. “But some days you just take a win and run home.”

The Cougars will put their perfect record to the test May 17 against the San Jose Earthquakes at 7:30 p.m. at BYU’s South Field.

 

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