Cougars take down USC 2-1 in front of a huge home crowd


PROVO, Utah — BYU women’s soccer team moved to 2-1 on the season with a 2-1 victory at South Field Thursday night, in front of 5,347 fans in attendance. 

The bounce-back victory comes after a tough loss to Auburn last week.

“It was really important that we bounce back,” said BYU forward Brecken Mozingo. “We just came back, and it reminded us of who we are, what we like to do and what we like to accomplish.”

The Cougars opened the scoring in the 13th minute. The play started with a crucial block from BYU defender Olivia Smith. The Cougars then sent the ball across the field. Olivia Wade delivered a long pass nearly halfway up the field to a cutting Brecken Mozingo. Mozingo fired a laser to the top right corner of the net to make it 1-0.

“Our motto is to always score first, score early, and score again,” Mozingo said.

BYU was awarded a penalty kick after a USC handball in the box in the 33rd minute. The kick was taken by Mikayla Colohan, but saved by Anna Smith. Colohan took another shot off of the rebound, but was unable to capitalize on it.

The Cougars kept their momentum through the first half, taking three shots within the same minute toward the end of the half. The pressure paid off as an assist from Mozingo on a free kick led to a goal headed in by Bella Folino in the 40th minute, to put BYU up 2-0. 

The first half saw plenty of action from the beginning. BYU had 14 shots with five on goal, while holding USC to eight shots and one on goal.

USC kept the Cougars on their toes in the second half, forcing BYU to play more defensive. 

Colohan had another shot in the 53rd minute — she had a game-high seven in the game — which was blocked by Anna Smith. USC answered with back-to-back shots in the 61st minute, but BYU keeper Cassidy Smith kept the score at 2-0.

A BYU handball in the box led to a penalty kick for the Trojans in the 84th minute. USC midfielder Croix Bethune’s shot found the back of the net, earning the Trojans their first goal of the season and cutting the BYU leads in half to 2-1.

BYU’s defense continued to battle the Trojans' attack through the remainder of the game. Wade was given a yellow card with just two minutes remaining in the game. Keeper Cassidy Smith got her gloves on the ball with just 10 seconds left, and the Cougars pulled away with the 2-1 win.

BYU’s next game will be on the road as the Cougars face Arkansas at Razorback Field on August 30. The game will take place at 7 p.m. CDT and will be available on the BYU Sports Network — BYU Radio 107.9 FM/BYU Cougars App.