(Photo by BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)
PROVO, Utah—On a rain-soaked Thursday evening, No. 17 BYU lost on a late goal to No. 19 Denver 1-0.
“Denver played well against us and kept us on our heels,” BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood
said. “Obviously it’s very disappointing, giving up a goal in the last few minutes of the game. Unfortunately our players just aren’t playing with a lot of confidence right now.”
In the 88th minute, Denver's Hermann Trophy candidate forward Kristen Hamilton centered the ball near the top of the 18-yard box for midfielder Nicholette DiGiacomo. DiGiacomo sent a low shot just inside the nearpost to beat BYU goalkeeper Erica Owens
for the game-winning goal.
The Cougars attempted to counter in the closing minutes. Forward Jaiden Thornock
took the ball up the right side on the Denver half of the field and crossed the ball through the air in front of the goal, but no one on the other end could connect as the clock ticked down.
BYU tallied 10 shots with forward Ashley Hatch
leading the team with four. Thornock also had two shots while Owens made four saves in goal.
In the first half, neither team was able to score. The Cougars took seven shots, while the Pioneers had four. Both teams had their closest opportunities in the closing minutes of the half.
In the 41st minute, BYU’s Paige Hunt
took the set piece and sent it into the box to Rachel Manning
on a diagonal run. Manning headed the ball, redirecting it toward the ground at the goal line, but Denver’s goalkeeper Amelia Davis made the save.
The Pioneers countered in the 44th minute as Hamilton’s cross from the left of the goal ended with BYU’s Owens securing the ball.
In the second half, BYU was unable to maintain consistent pressure on Denver's defense.
“I think we made some good progress in our ability to possess out of the back,” Rockwood said. “We’re just really struggling to keep the ball in our midfield area and that’s not allowing us to get forward in our attack very much. There’s still a lot to look forward to and we just have to get better each day.”
Next up, the Cougars will travel to Waco, Texas, for their last non-conference game against No. 12 Baylor on Friday, Oct. 4, at 6 p.m. MDT.