Oregon came into Provo trying to improve on its 4-2-1 record after playing to a draw last year in Eugene, Oregon. The Cougars played in their special royal blue uniforms as they tried to earn their first back-to-back wins on the year, and it took what may have been the goal of the year to accomplish it. With two second half goals the Cougars were able to pull off the 2-1 win and improve to 3-3-2, sending the Oregon Ducks packing with a disheartening loss.
Oregon came out of the gate looking like a team that wanted to cure its road game woes and were rewarded 40 seconds into the game with an early corner kick. The Cougar defense held them at bay, but the Ducks continued to attack and held possession for most of the first six minutes, including two corner kicks. BYU would impose its will for the majority of the final 40 minutes but struggled to capitalize. The defense for both teams was stifling as quality shots were hard to find and attack after attack was rebuffed.
BYU had its first good opportunity in the 16th minute as the Cougars found themselves with the ball in the Oregon box, but the Ducks forced the ball out without a shot. Oregon received it second hand ball in the 25th minute, but the free kick by Marissa Nimmer went wide left, leaving the teams scoreless. In the 29th minute, the birthday girl, Madie Lyons, had a wide open shot go wide right as the Cougars continued to push the ball in Oregon territory. Even with the time of possession belonging to the Cougars, the Ducks managed five corner kicks in the first 30 minutes. Oregon would open the scoring in the 30th minute as Allie Rodriguez took a shot from about 31 yards out and put it high towards the net. Katherine Snyder was a bit out of place and as she jumped to deflect it, she tipped it, but not enough to put it above the net. The goal was the first of the year for Rodriguez.
The teams continued to go back and forth as one team would become the aggressor before dropping back to play defense. BYU continued to have some opportunities, but couldn't pull the trigger and lost possesion without shots. BYU ended the half down one, yet up 8-5 on shots. Quality shots were missing though as Oregon only had two shots on goal and BYU had one.
BYU came out of the locker room on the attack, but failed to get a good shot in the first few minutes. Both teams fought hard, but the Ducks found themselves in a tough situation as an aggressive tackle gave BYU a penalty kick in the 50th minute. Marissa Nimmer was called upon to take the shot and froze Ducks goalie, Abby Steele, and put the ball in the left side of the net. With the game tied at one the Cougars found themselves re-energized. In the 56th minute the Cougars found an opening, but with a pass that was just a bit long, the Oregon defense found time to regroup and kept the ball away from the net.
Tempers began to flare as both teams let their emotions show as a double yellow card was called in the 59th minute after some pushing and shoving. In the 60th minute, the Cougars defense again held up when the Ducks put the ball in the box, but in the process Sarah Chambers injured her arm. She would stay in the game, but in obvious pain. BYU again pushed the ball and a wide cross pass by Michelle Murphy stopped another threat for the Cougars in the 63rd minute. BYU forced a golden opportunity in the 66th minute as the Cougars found themselves on a 3 on 2 break, but the defense cleared before a good shot could be found.
It would take until the 76th minute before Madie Lyons would have a chance to redeem herself from her missed shot, but she would make the most of it. From 32 yards out Lyons arced a perfect shot over Steele and gave the Cougars a 2-1 lead late in the game. Her birthday goal would be the first of her career. With this goal the Cougars accomplished a feat no other team has done this season, score more than one goal against the Ducks.
And the radio call from Greg Wrubell and Hugh Van Wagenen:
Both teams continued to play aggressive as the game wound down, but neither team could find the back of the net before time ran out, giving the Cougars the 2-1 win.
To view the complete replay of the game game visit BYUtv.com. If all you want to see is the goal by Lyons, skip to about the 1:49:00 mark.
BYU will stay at South Field for a game on Saturday the 20th against Colorado College at 7:30 pm. The game will be shown on theW.tv.