BYU men’s soccer wins fourth straight national championship

BYU men’s soccer proved that the women aren’t the only dominant soccer force in Provo, winning the 2023 NIRSA National Championships for the fourth straight year on Nov. 18.

After advancing to the semifinals in their 2-0 win against Georgia Tech on Nov. 17, the men played UCLA the next morning. In the 30th minute of the first half, junior Isaiah Strong scored the first goal against the Bruins, and BYU began the first half with a 1-0 lead.

With ten minutes remaining in the second half, sophomore Colton Rouse scored the team’s final goal against UCLA, leading the Cougars to a 2-0 victory and a spot in the finals.

The team played Virginia Tech later that day in another strongly defensive match, with the score remaining 0-0 at halftime. However, the men were eventually able to break through the HokieBirds’ defense, and sophomore Talmage Woodhouse and senior Kyle Cuvelier each scored a goal.

“We knew teams would be tired and play very defensive against us, so we switched up our formation in order to have more possession and let them chase,” Cuvelier said. “Eventually, the cracks started to open, and we took our chances. Overall, though, defense wins championships, and we knew that just getting one goal would ultimately deflate any team because our back line is so solid.”

Cuvelier was right, as the Cougars became the national champions with a 2-0 win against Virginia Tech, giving them their twelfth national title. This win also marked their fourth straight win in national championships.

“It gets more special every year!” Cuvelier said. “It’s not easy to keep up such a history of success when everyone cheers against you, so it feels really good to see us win despite all the adversity.”

One incredible statistic over the course of the championships was that BYU conceded zero goals, proving that their defense is a force to be reckoned with.

The players celebrated their astounding victory at Martinelli’s with a night of pizza and relaxation.

“We didn’t hold back on how much we ate and still had about five pizzas left over,” Cuvelier said. “We’re just all very happy to keep up the tradition of success.”

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