"There is no question Long Beach State was a fantastic team, for sure one of the best teams we’ve played this year," BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. "I thought we came out in the second half and played so well. We stayed composed and didn’t get too flustered when we didn’t get some calls. The ball wasn’t bouncing in the back of the next for us, but the girls just stayed on it. It paid off in the end."
The Cougars’ first and only goal of the night came in the 85th minute off a cross from Loomis to Hatch, who found the net from inside the six-yard box. It was Hatch’s 12th goal of the season and 40th career goal. Michele Vasconcelos was also credited with an assist as she led the ball down to the end line before passing it to Loomis.
"Loomis did exactly what she needed to do to win this game," Rockwood said. "When you have someone like that come off the bench for a few minutes and change the game, that's huge."
Despite BYU's seven first-half shots and four on goal, the two teams entered halftime tied 0-0 due to strong defensive pressure from the 49ers. The last time the Cougars and their opponent had a scoreless first half was during BYU’s only loss this season to Nebraska.
The Cougars continued to outshoot Long Beach State in the second half. In the 53rd minute, BYU began a 10-minute attacking burst with four shots on goal, two by Hatch and two by Elena Medeiros, but none made it past the keeper.
In the 87th minute, the 49ers responded to the Cougars' goal with two corner kicks but were unable to score before the clock ran out.
BYU recorded 16 shots with 11 on goal during the win while holding Long Beach State to just four shots with one on goal. Cougar Goalkeeper Hannah Clark earned her fifth shutout of the season.
The Cougars are now riding an eight-game win streak and improved to 9-1-0 overall. The 49ers fell to 4-5-1.
BYU opens conference play at home against Santa Clara on Thursday, Sept. 29, at 7 p.m. MDT. The game will be televised on BYUtv and can also be found on the Cougar IMG Sports Network, ESPN960 and BYU Radio on Sirius XM 143.
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