BYU had something to prove coming off two tough losses last week. The Cougars showed improvement in many aspects of their game, but still fell short against LSU, losing 4-3.
“I thought we made a step forward for sure,” BYU soccer coach Jennifer Rockwood said. “Obviously, it’s difficult to lose, but we try to take the positives and we played pretty good soccer tonight.”
It was a hot start for both teams, each team having a shot just miss it’s mark in the first three minutes. The Cougars quickly settled into their passing game, doing an excellent job maintaining possession. Despite their dominance in possession, LSU’s Summer Clarke capitalized on a BYU turnover in the 22nd minute, scoring her fourth goal of the season on a long shot that sailed over keeper Katherine Snyder.
The Cougars fired back just a minute later on a shot outside the 18 by Marissa Nimmer, her first goal of the season. Elena Medeiros assisted on the goal. BYU nearly took the lead in the 27th and 36th minute when Michelle Murphy and Bizzy Phillips tpook shots that were blocked by LSU’s keeper. In the 39th minute, LSU’s Megan Lee netted one for the Tigers to take the lead again, 2-1.
Nadia Gomes, a true freshman almost tied it up again in the 44th minute, but her shot bounced off the post and the Cougars were unable to to get the rebound. BYU outshot LSU 9-6 in the first half.
BYU struggled in the first few minutes of the second half, giving LSU several dangerous scoring opportunities. The Cougars took back momentum in the 63rd minute when Clark netted her second goal of the season. Clark’s goal came off a cross from Nikki Hernandez, who dribbled up the left side and crossed it to Clark in the middle who dribbled past several defenders and than hit the upper right corner of the goal.
Just one minute later, LSU took the lead again off of a penalty kick. LSU played a dangerous ball through to Jorian Baucom who was taken down by two BYU defenders. Baucom buried her shot for her fourth goal of the season. LSU extended its lead to 4-2 in the 79th minute. BYU cut their lead once again in the 86th minute when Gomes scored her first goal of the season, but couldn’t find the net again in the final minutes.
BYU ended the night with a 16-11 shot advantage, but the Tigers capitalized on their opportunities, and the Cougars defense was unable to contain them.
“We gave up four goals, which we shouldn’t do, but overall I think we made a step in the right direction,” Rockwood said. “We have to keep working hard. I think we changed a lot of things that we’ve done in the last couple games. Elisabeth Philips and Marissa Nimmer were very good, so I was really proud of our midfield tonight compared to our game in Utah— it was night and day. The fact that our midfielders did so well is very encouraging moving forward.”
The Cougars have little time to dwell on their loss as they host South Beach on Saturday at 7 p.m. at South Field.