BYU Women’s soccer survived a sloppy battle with crosstown rival Utah Valley on Monday night, beating the Wolverines in Orem 1-0.
In the opening moments, the Cougars pressed high into the Wolverine defensive third, but the Wolverines managed to counter the press and create an open game. The Cougars struggled to create any long spell of possession, and struggled with basics. Passes and touches were sloppy all night from every position on the field, as the Cougars seemed unfamiliar with the loose surface at Clyde Field.
The Cougars best chance of the half came from Lizzy Braby, who chipped UVU Goalkeeper Allie Jara, only for her shot to ping off the woodwork.
The Cougars were sloppy again in the second half, and couldn’t create any great chances. BYU fired off several shots, but none tested Jara.
On a night when the basics betrayed the Cougars, it was going to take something special to beat the Wolverines. That special moment came in the 64th minute, when Defender Danika Serassio chipped Jara from around 35 yards and placed the ball in the back of the net.
UVU immediately countered after the goal, and a Sabrina Davis save kept the Cougars in the lead. However, in the 68th minute, BYU holding midfielder Jamie Shepherd would receive her second yellow card, putting the Cougars down to 10 for the remaining 20 minutes.
The ejection weakened the Cougars first line of defense, as Shepherd’s role eased the pressure on the back line. The Cougars faced a barrage of threats in the final twenty minutes, but the work of Serassio, Alyssa Jefferson, and Davis kept the Cougars ahead and secured the 1-0 shutout victory.
UVU won a free kick with ten seconds remaining in the game, and shanked an ugly set piece to the top of the box. With UVU goalkeeper Jara in the box in a desperation move, Elise Flake was free to go on goal the other end. Flake crossed half and fired a shot, but due to NCAA soccer rules, the clock ran out less than a second before the ball crossed the goal line into the net.
The Cougars will look to regain form this week, as they face a tough test on the road in Kansas. They’ll first play at Kansas on Thursday, followed by a Saturday match-up against Kansas State.