It was a night of record breaking at South Field for the BYU women’s soccer team who scored in the 83rd minute to beat the University of San Diego 1-0.
The Cougars saw some changes in their starting line-up against USD Friday night and broke two team records. Forward Madie Lyons has stepped up the past three games in the place of injured teammate and All-American player Ashley Hatch. She started next to transfer Jocelyn Loomis and bumped forward Michelle Murphy-Vasconcelos back to the attacking midfield position.
With the changes to the starting line-up the Cougars were equipped with speed and electricity up front according to head coach Jennifer Rockwood.
“I really like the line up we had tonight. That’s a lot of speed on the field for us, a lot of quickness,” Rockwood said. “It was a crazy game. Certainly one you don’t see very often,”
The Cougars broke the record for number of shots in one game and number of corner kicks in one game as a team effort. BYU had 49 shots against USD and 19 corner kicks. Previously, the record for shots was 42 and corner kicks was 16 at South Field.
BYU controlled the game and kept the ball in front of the USD goal box for the majority of the game. Eighteen of BYU’s 49 shots were on frame. USD goal keeper Michelle Craft came up with 17 beautiful saves to hold the Cougars to one goal for the night.
BYU’s offense kept up steady pressure on the goal box, but the USD defense didn’t let a ball into the back of the net until minute 83 when BYU defender Sarah Chambers-Gardner headed the ball in off of a corner kick by Lyons. Lyons said she got a workout in tonight by constantly crossing the ball and taking more than half of the corner kicks for BYU.
“It’s just so frustrating. It’s nice that we get a lot of opportunities, but we need to finish those,” Lyons said. “It was a little frustrating, but it was nice for Sarah to capitalize on that corner.”
The Cougars got a break away down the field in minute 83 which resulted in a corner kick by Lyons. Murphy-Vasconcelos got a shot off the corner, which was deflected out of bounds and given to the Cougars for another corner kick.
Lyons lined up again and aimed for the six yard line where she saw teammates Taylor Campbell-Isom and Chambers-Gardner waiting for the ball. The high ball went over Campbell-Isom’s head right to where Chambers-Gardner was waiting to head head it in. She didn’t hesitate to to go for the ball even though she was the shortest player on the field at 5-feet-2-inches tall. Chambers-Gardner sent the ball straight into the back of the net making the score 1-0 Cougars.
“I was a little shocked, but I could see it coming,” Chambers-Gardner said. “The defenders were really tall, so I just had to jump really high. Sometimes people misjudge the ball and I was just kind of waiting behind them just hoping that they would miss it, and they did and I headed it in.”
The Cougars continued their winning streak at home and are undefeated in the WCC so far this season. BYU goalkeeper Rachel Boaz had three saves against the USD offense and came up big in the last five minutes with two major saves to secure another win for the Cougars.
“Rachel’s come up big in every single game. You know, she didn’t have to do a whole lot tonight, but when we needed her she was there and made a great save,” Rockwood said. “It was a crazy game and I am just glad we were able to pull it off.”
It was a tough and a well fought battle on both sides. Forty-nine shots and 17 corner kicks for BYU, but only one corner kick and one shot mattered: the one that hit the back of the net in the 83rd minute and won the game for BYU.
The Cougars will take on the Pacific Tigers on Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. at South Field.