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Juan Flores Mena, UVU Athletics

Second-half spurt propels BYU women's soccer to win over Utah Valley

By Kyle McDonald, Contributor  |  Posted Sep 22nd, 2017 @ 11:16pm


PROVO — The BYU women's soccer team was leading 1-0 at halftime and being outshot by crosstown foe Utah Valley at South Field on Friday night.

What happened in the first 15 minutes of the second half is exactly what BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood drew up.

The Cougars scored two goals in a span of 4:23 to put the match away and earn the 3-0 shutout win over UVU. Elise Flake used some nifty moves and scored her second goal of the season inside the left corner of the box.

Just over four minutes later, Bizzy Bowen scored her first goal of the season when her shot bounced off a UVU defender into the left corner of the net.

"I thought in the second half we came out and did what we trained to do," Rockwood said. "And what we have been trying to do and that is playing in our two-touch rhythm and playing the ball wide and letting our forwards run at the goal."

Senior forward Nadia Gomes got BYU on the board in the first half. Gomes hooked a free kick from just outside the 18-yard box right past UVU goalkeeper Brooklyn Neilson in the 15th minute. It is the third goal in two games for Gomes as she scored twice in Monday's win over Kansas.

"I've been practicing my free kicks a lot," Gomes said. "It was the perfect setup. It was right on my left foot so I just bent it. We've been trying to score in the first half so we can get that momentum, and I think it was really good to score early."

Despite scoring early and taking a 1-0 lead into halftime, BYU was actually outshot 6-3 by UVU. The Wolverines also kept pressure on the BYU defense but couldn't score the equalizer. It was something Rockwood was not too pleased about.

"We didn't do as well as we wanted to in the first half," Rockwood said. "So we were fortunate that Nadia (Gomes) had an unbelieveable free kick that scored. I didn't think we played well."

It is the second straight home win for the Cougars, who improved to 3-4-3. UVU dropped to 3-8 on the season, but first-year head coach Chris Lemay was pleased with how his team competed.

"They played against a really good team in a great atmosphere," Lemay said. "As odd as it may sound, I'm really proud of our team. A couple of bounces go a little bit different, all of a sudden I think it's a closer game in the statistic that counts the most, which is the goals."

Lemay has a point. UVU finished with 10 shots to BYU's eight. The only problem is that the stat that counts the most went against the Wolverines. BYU is now 3-0-0 against UVU, but the crosstown series is expected to continue in the 2018 season.

Up next for the Cougars is West Coast Conference play. BYU hosts San Diego on Sept. 29 at South Field in the conference opener for both teams. The Cougars are picked to finish second behind Santa Clara.

UVU gets a few days off before finishing up its non-conference schedule. The Wolverines host Seattle University on Sept. 30 at Clyde Field and then close out the non-conference schedule at Texas A&M on Oct. 2.

Kyle McDonald is sports fan who loves the Chicago Cubs. Follow him on Twitter at @kylesportsbias

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