BYU Women’s Soccer knocks off No. 23 Long Beach State

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BYU women’s soccer showed up in strong fashion as the Cougars shut out the 23rd ranked Long Beach State 49ers 2-0.  The win ends a three game skid for BYU and puts the team back on track for a potentially great season.

Nadia Gomes surveys the field in Saturday's 2-0 victory (BYU photo)
Nadia Gomes surveys the field in Saturday’s 2-0 victory (BYU photo)

“I’m just really proud of the girls,” Head Coach Jennifer Rockwood said.  “We’ve had some tough losses here and they continue to battle everyday at practice with good attitudes and hard work and it really payed off tonight.”

The Cougars desperately needed to find their footing at home after notching a tie and two losses on South Field to start the season.  The scoring started in the 29th minute when midfielder Marissa Nimmer played a corner kick to Ashley Hatch, who headed the ball in cleanly.

“Nimmer had a great corner, she lofted it up and I read it and just headed it in,” Hatch said.

Then, in the 73rd minute Hatch was able to beat two defenders and blast the ball into the back of the net, putting BYU up 2-0.  Long Beach State was awarded an important penalty kick in the 83rd minute but were unable to convert when freshman Ashley Gonzales stepped up to take the kick, sending it sailing high over the crossbar.  The crowd erupted in relief, as the 49ers hopes of a comeback were halted. The 2-0 result held, and the Cougars were able to come up with an important victory.

BYU has been struggling to score, tallying only three goals in the first five games of the season.  The drought is over it seems, with the Cougars putting in five goals this week alone.

“It just feels good scoring and everyone wants each other to score,”  Hatch said.  “It’s been frustrating not scoring in the past couple of games, but we knew it was coming and we’ve been working hard for it and we’ve all been supporting each other, and it came.”

BYU’s defensive unit showed up to play as well, allowing the 49ers only eight shots.

“I just think that we showed great composure in the back and when the ball came we were able to connect out of the back,” Rockwood said.  “They have very great attacking players, very creative players.  We were just able to keep the ball away from them.”

Those creative players Rockwood talked about, midfielder Mimi Rangel and Ashley Gonzalez, were held to only two total shots on goal.

Both Rockwood and Hatch credited the win to hard work in practice.

“We have a lot of talent, like I said, the girls have been working so hard, so tonight alot of hard work came together for us,” Rockwood said. “Hopefully we can just build from that.”

BYU hopes to build on that practice this week, as they take on Oregon on Thursday at the South Field at 7 p.m. MDT.

 

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