Olivia Wade's game-winner leads Cougars to a 2-1 victory over Utah
PROVO, Utah — No. 25 BYU defeated in-state foe Utah 2-1 with a game-winner by Olivia Wade in the final minute of the match on South Field Saturday evening for its first win in two weeks. All three goals were scored within the last 12 minutes of the match.
The Cougars sought revenge as last season the rivalry matchup ended in a 0-0 tie after two scoreless overtime periods.
“It was a huge win for our team,” said Wade. “Obviously, we have been having some struggles early in the season, but we knew we had it in us. We put everything out on the field and everybody stepped up big and did their job today. I am so proud of this group.”
BYU’s freshman Allie Fryer got her first collegiate start in tonight's face-off. To kick things off for BYU’s offense, midfielder Wade came out aggressive, getting two shots off within the first four minutes of the match. The Utes began to equalize possession on their end of the pitch and both teams would get three shots off in the first 20 minutes of the game.
BYU had four additional shots in the next 10 minutes without any success, Brecken Mozingo with three of them. Utah’s next shot wouldn’t be until the 37th minute.
At the half, the game was scoreless. A defensive first half left BYU’s goalkeeper Savanna Mason with two saves while Utah’s goalkeeper Evie Vitali had four.
The Cougars reentered the game in the second half with similar aggression as the first. Olivia Smith sent a ball wide over the net in the 46th minute. Fryer also looked for the back of the net in the 51st minute, but the ball was off target. BYU nearly quadrupled the amount of Utah’s shots with 15 to its four in the 53rd minute.
Mozingo looked to extend her five-game goal streak with four shots-on-goal in the second half. She opened with a shot in the 60th minute, followed by a free kick one minute later that nearly missed, rolling past the right side of the net. Utah’s Vitali wouldn’t allow a goal from Mozingo after two more attempts. With an aggressive forward attack by the Cougars, the sophomore Utah keeper had a career-high night with seven total saves.
BYU finally capitalized off their offensive pressure in the second half when Jamie Shepherd and Mozingo assisted Wade in the first goal of the match at the 78 minute mark. Wade sent the ball into the bottom-right of the net, with a powder toss celebration from the BYU student section to celebrate.
BYU held Utah to just three shots in the second half, with a chance to equalize in the 87th minute by Kelly Bullock that did not fall between the posts. However, the Utes made it happen in the 89th minute, with a goal by Ryan Cull. The Cougars have had three opponents equalize the score late in the second half this season (70th minute versus Colorado, 83rd minute versus Arkansas and 83rd minute at Utah State).
With another tie in sight for BYU, Wade was able to get a game in the win column with a jumping goal in the final minute of the game. Mozingo sent the ball into the box from a corner kick and Wade was able to send the ball into the net for her first multi-goal game of the season.
“When that ball went in it was such a confidence-booster for us,” said Wade. “Earlier when Utah tied up the game it was gut-wrenching, but I don’t think we skipped a beat. We knew we could find the back of the net again.”
BYU will have two weeks off before traveling to California for its first West Coast Conference matchup against Saint Mary’s on Saturday, October 1. The game will be streaming live on the WCC Network, with Greg Wrubell on the call on BYUradio.org and the BYU Radio app as well.
The Cougars took the field for the first time of the 2023 season Saturday night for the annual Blue vs White game.…