Freshman SaraJayne Affleck’s Golden Goal in the 102nd minute lifted BYU past San Francisco, 2-1, Saturday night in the Bay Area as the Cougars survived a scare on the Hilltop.
BYU struggled from the opening minutes, with a disconnect between each layer of the lineup. Forwards were high up field, with midfielders distant from the backline as well. High press from the Dons gave BYU several scares throughout the opening twenty minutes, but BYU survived each one, with goalkeeper Sabrina Davis making some spectacular saves.
BYU would finally settle into the match, and dominated the closing moments of the first half. They weren’t able to find a finish, however, and the halftime score was 0-0.
BYU would come out strong in the second half, and finally found the opening goal through none other than Elise Flake in the 57th minute.
BYU pressured to find a second, but it never came. Unfortunately, the Dons hit BYU on a counter, and a poor clearance ended up on the foot of USF’s Ashley Humphrey, who buried the shot into the top bins to equalize in the 80th minute.
The first overtime was all BYU, but no goal came. The winner finally came in the 102nd minute in the second overtime, when Lizzy Braby slotted a low cross into the six yard box, which Affleck slotted home to give BYU a relieving winner.
BYU will need to be better in its last two matches, at Gonzaga on Wednesday and at home against Loyola Marymount on Saturday. Should BYU win the remaining two matches, they would win the WCC Championship outright and receive the automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. With their #4 ranking, BYU can expect to be seeded high, although RPI is taken into account. Previous history has shown BYU to be seeded lower than perhaps anticipated, and expert predictions have the Cougars as low as a 4-seed.
BYU is now 16-0-1 on the season and remains one of two undefeated teams in the country.