On Saturday, the sixth ranked BYU women's soccer team put their 14 game unbeaten streak at home on the line and came up short 0-1. Coming off a scoreless tie in Oregon, the Cougars were looking for some offense to extend their record to 4-0 against the Anteaters of UC-Irvine. Unfortunately the offense could not break through. For the third straight game, BYU went into the half with no score. The defense played tough and Erica Owens continued to protect the net as she looked for her fourth shut out on the year.
The Cougars were without starters Niki Fernandes and Avery Calton as they were kept out due to injuries. The first ten minutes of the game were controlled by the Anteater offense though no shots were taken. BYU became more aggressive and spent more time on the Anteaters side of the field but ended up with only two shots on goal with five total shots. The Anteaters had two shots on goal with a total of three BYU shots on goal. The best shot the Cougars had on goal came in the 42nd minute when Sarah Chambers took a shot from the left, but it was saved by the Anteaters goalkeeper, Jennifer Randazzo. With the Cougars not scoring a goal the offensive drought increased to 148 minutes without a score.
The second half started without fireworks until the 52nd minute when Natalie Ledezma earned a yellow card when she slid cleats first into Owens. This fired up the crowd but the Anteaters defense continued to smother the Cougars offense.
The first corner kick of the night happened late, in the 65th minute. The Anteaters kicked it to the center but it headed out of bounds. The Cougars took their first corner kick in the 67th minute but failed to convert. Both defenses kept the offense from being a real threat to the keepers as shots were at a premium and were generally off the mark or routine saves. With five minutes left in the game, the total shots were tied at six. Neither team seemed poised to take the lead although the Anteaters continued to be aggressive on the Cougars side of the field. Finally the Anteaters broke through with under a minute to play when Ledezma split two defenders and slipped the winning goal past Owens for the victory. The Cougars were shut out for the second time in as many games and have now been held scoreless for 204 minutes. Both teams had eight shots but UC-Irvine had one more shot on goal,4-3, and made it count.
The Cougars will next play on the 19th of September against Oklahoma on South Field. This game will be televised on BYUtv at 7 pm MDT. They will then travel to Long Beach State to play on the 21st.