The BYU women’s soccer team came out hard and aggressive from the start to win Thursday night’s game against Utah State 1-0.
Though both teams were scoreless in the first half, BYU had 23 shots and five near misses.
“We talked about at half time that we just have to believe it’s gonna go in,” head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. “I mean we were very pleased with our first half. We gave a real dominant performance. Our attack was great, we just couldn’t find a ball on frame.”
In the second half, BYU continued to fight. The high intensity on the field turned almost frantic as the second half continued with the 0-0 score. A game like that is easy to lose patience and hope, but junior forward Ashley Hatch said those thoughts never crossed her mind.
“You just have to believe in our team and believe in what we can do,” Hatch said. “I mean, we’ve done it before. We know we can do it, we have to just keep fighting to the end.”
And fight until the end they did. BYU got a free kick from their own goal in the 85th minute after a foul called on Utah State forward Wesley Hamblin. Not two minutes later, another foul was called on Hamblin and a yellow card was issued.
The kick was given to BYU sophomore Bizzy Philips from just in front of the midfield line. She lined up and hammered a long ball right on frame toward the goal. The ball, aimed for Hatch’s head, barely missed Hatch, but still bounced into the goal and gave BYU a 1-0 lead with three minutes left to play.
“It’s been such an exciting night and so fun!” Philips said of scoring the game-winning goal. “I’m just glad that BYU has beat both Utah teams and remains on top this season.”
BYU had 35 shots and the Utah State Aggies had eight shots. It was a BYU dominated game Rockwood said.
“I thought we played very well. A very clean game, and I think the girls should take a lot of confidence from that,” said Rockwood. “We will just have to rest up our starters tomorrow and be ready to go on Saturday.”
The number five BYU women’s soccer team will take on the UNLV Rebels Saturday at 6 p.m. at South Field.