(Photo by BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)
The No. 6 BYU women's soccer team handed Utah its first loss of the season after a late penalty kick goal from freshman forward Ashley Hatch in the 88th minute won the game 1-0.
“We practice quite a bit and Ashley has stepped up as a freshman and she doesn't play like a freshman,” BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. “She has taken a lot of those PKs in her career. She felt comfortable and she knew she was taking it if we had a PK today.”
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The win moves BYU to 4-0-0 and gives BYU an early edge in the Deseret First Duel. Utah fell to 1-1-2 on its season.
The goal was Hatch’s third in her first four games and was the first allowed by Utah this season. Hatch also pulled even with Rachel Manning for the team lead in goals. The Cougars also broke the attendance record for the second time in a week with 5,402 fans.
“You’re absolutely [proud] when you can win a game a man down,” Rockwood said. “The girls just gutted it out and just found a way to make it happen. We had an unbelievable performance by our back four tonight. I thought they did a fantastic job and obviously Erica [Owens] came up huge for us when we needed her in the second half.”
The Cougars played down a player after Jaiden Thornock was shown her second yellow in the 63rd minute for time wasting. However, in the 88th minute, Hatch drew a yellow on Utah goalkeeper Cheyanne Mulcock in the box. She was awarded a penalty kick and buried it in the right corner to take the lead.
Cloee Colohan had a free kick that curled past the Ute line and was saved on another diving save from Mulcock. She followed that up minutes later with a laser from outside the box, but it was saved again by Mulcock. Just moments before Hatch’s goal, Colohan had another scoring chance on a curling left-footed kick that was saved on a diving attempt with one hand which led to a corner kick.
In the 80th minute, Owens came up to cover the ball to stop a Utah chance inside the box. Seconds later, two BYU defenders collided giving Utah a wide open look at goal, but Owens made a diving save to her right to maintain the clean sheet.
In the 17th minute, Hatch's first shot was a left-footed drive from 30 feet that was turned away on a diving save by goal keeper Mulcock. In the 21st minute the Cougars had two scoring chances, first they had a series of touches in the box that led to a shot that hit the crossbar and one that looked it would cross the goal line, but a Ute defender made a goal line clearance. BYU remained on the attack in the 22nd minute on a chance orchestrated by Thornock who made a nice move to get past two defenders and delivered a pass to Hatch, but the shot went straight to Mulcock.
The Cougar defense recorded its second shutout of the season at South Field limiting Utah to five shots total and only one in the first half.
BYU will take to the road next week to face Oregon in Eugene on Sep. 12 at 8 p.m. before returning home to face UC Irvine Sep. 14 at 7 p.m.