No. 9 Cougars tie No. 25 Colorado in home opener at South Field
PROVO, Utah — No. 9 BYU women’s soccer tied the No. 25 Colorado Buffaloes 2-2 in the home opener at South Field on Monday afternoon.
“It’s certainly a very disappointing result after giving it a really good effort, and I felt we played some really good soccer out there,” said BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood. “We came out and created tons of opportunities but when you can't score goals, especially when you are getting great looks, that is going to be a problem for us. It's happened now three games in a row where we've had chances in the first half and we just haven't been able to capitalize on those, so we have a lot of finishing to work on."
Although the Cougars led the Buffs in shots 31-6, shots on goal 8-3 and corners 7-4, well-timed runs by Colorado resulted in two goals which were the equalizers in the 2-2 draw on Monday.
After a clean sheet in the first half for both teams, Olivia Wade opened the scoring with a right-footed, 22-yard shot that skipped over the hands of the keeper and into the back of the net in the 64th minute.
Colorado responded in the 70th minute with a corner kick from Jenny Beyer that snuck past the hands of Savanna Mason and into the near-side top corner of the goal to tie the match at one.
Jamie Shepherd wasted no time as she collected a pass from Brecken Mozingo in the 72nd minute, spun past a Buffs defender and sent a left-footed rocket in to give the Cougars the lead with 18 minutes remaining.
Colorado scored the equalizer in the 81st minute when Shyra James took a quick counter and found the back of the net. Despite chances for both squads, neither team could score the go-ahead goal in the last nine minutes ending the match with a 2-2 draw.
“We knew Colorado was dangerous in transition and in counters,” said Rockwood. “The only thing we were focusing on was making sure they didn't get in behind us and sure enough, that's how they scored the tying goals which is frustrating. But that is something good to learn early in the season. We proved today that we can move the ball well and find good looks, so now we just need to put them away."
A ball from Kendall Peterson was dummied by Bella Folino and found the foot of Rachel McCarthy whose shot was deflected by the Colorado keeper to eliminate BYU first goal-scoring opportunity of the match.
McCarthy collected a ball off a Buffs throw-in, took her defender to the right side of the pitch and earned the Cougars their second corner kick of the match. The corner was served into the box to Folino whose header missed just over the crossbar in the eighth minute.
The Cougars offense continued to push hard and in the 22nd minute, Shepherd played a ball into the left-side of the box to a streaking Folino whose shot missed high over the crossbar. Above the crossbar was the theme of the first 25 minutes as five of the ten BYU shots missed just over the woodwork.
In the 39th minute of the game, a ball from Shepherd found the boot of freshman Allie Fryer for a shot from just outside the 18 which again sailed high for BYU.
With 45 seconds left in the half, BYU repossessed in the midfield and played Shepherd at 25-yards. The senior played a through ball to Tara Warner who had a one-on-one with the Colorado goalie, but missed just outside the right post.
Despite leading the shot tally 13-2, the Cougars were shutout in the first half for the third straight match as BYU and Colorado enter the break 0-0.
Just six seconds into the second half, Colorado earned an early corner but wasn’t able to convert it into a shot on frame. The Cougars began a counter with a Mozingo shot that was blocked for a BYU corner. Ellie Maughan’s shot off the corner was off target and led to a CU goal kick.
McCarthy earned another shot in the 51st minute followed by back-to-back shots on goal from Maughan and Olivia Smith which were both saved by the Colorado goalie. By the 63rd minute the Cougars led the shot count 24-2 with nothing to show in the score column.
However, in the 64th minute Shepherd found Wade whose shot from 25-yards skipped off the hands of the Buffaloes’ goalie and into the back of the net to give the Cougars a 1-0 lead. The goal from Wade is the fourth of her BYU career and first of the season.
In the 68th minute, Colorado earned a 38-yard corner that was deflected off BYU and across the goal line for a CU corner. The corner was taken by Beyer who bent the corner into the near corner of the goal past the gloves of Mason for the 70th minute equalizer.
In just two minutes of elapsed game time, Mozingo found Shepherd just outside the box who dropped her defender with a spin move and sent a left-footed shot from 22-yards into the left-side of the net. Shepherds third goal of the season gave the Cougars a 2-1 lead in the 72nd minute.
After a Shepherd shot was blocked, the Buffs started a quick counter in the 81st minute on a long ball down the left-side.
Colorado's James collected the ball and took it from just inside midfield and beat Mason to the right post for the second equalizer of the afternoon for the Buffs. The goal from James marks her eighth consecutive contest with a goal, dating back to last season.
As a last attempt on goal, a ball served into the box by Peterson found Ruby Hladek whose header missed just outside the right post with less than three minutes remaining.
Despite several chances in the last three minutes, the Cougars weren’t able to punch in the game winner ending the game in a 2-2 draw.
The Cougars next take the field Thursday, Sept. 1 as they host Alabama at 7 p.m. MDT. The game will be carried live on the BYU Sports Network — BYURadio.org/BYU Radio app/BYU Radio 107.9 FM. The game will also be streamed on the BYUtv App.
The Cougars took the field for the first time of the 2023 season Saturday night for the annual Blue vs White game.…