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BYU women's soccer drops 3rd straight with LSU loss

BYU women's soccer drops 3rd straight with LSU loss

(Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

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PROVO — BYU women’s soccer team hadn’t given up a penalty kick since 2008.

But after a converted play from the spot gave Utah a home win over the Cougars last Friday, BYU found its fate virtually decided from the spot again Thursday night.

Jorian Baucom converted a penalty after a foul was signaled for a three-player mini-wrestling match inside the box, and Emma Fletcher scored the eventual game-winner about 12 minutes from time as Louisiana State held off BYU, 4-3 at South Field.

“I thought we made a step forward for sure,” said BYU coach Jennifer Rockwood, whose team lost its third straight game. “We played much better tonight than we played in the last couple games. Obviously, it’s difficult to lose, but we try to take the positives and we played pretty soccer tonight.

“We gave up four goals, which we shouldn’t do, but overall I think we made a step in the right direction.”

Freshman forward Nadia Gomes scored the first goal of her BYU career with an 85th-minute ball that pulled the Cougars (1-2-2) within one.

“I’m really happy about it,” Gomes said. “I’m said because we lost. But I think we played really good. The goals are just going to keep on coming.”

We gave up four goals, which we shouldn't do, but overall I think we made a step in the right direction.

–BYU women's soccer coach Jennifer Rockwood

Summer Clarke opened the scoring 23 minutes into the match, slicing through the BYU defense after a giveaway in the Cougars’ defensive third and sliding a shot by Kat Snyder to go up 1-0.

But that lead wouldn’t stand up for long. Just under a minute later, Marissa Nimmer buried a shot from the edge of the box. Sarah Chambers’ free kick found Elena Medeiros, who took a touch and dished the ball to Nimmer for her first goal of the season.

The Tigers (3-2-1) added a goal in the 38th minute when Megan Lee’s perfectly lofted shot dipped underneath the crossbar, and LSU took a 2-1 lead into halftime.

“We have to keep working hard,” Rockwood said. “I think we changed a lot of things that we’ve done in the last couple games. (Bizzy) Philips and Nimmer were very good, so I was really proud of our midfield tonight compared to our game in Utah — it was night and day.”

Ashley Hatch pulled BYU level at 2-2 in the 63rd minute, ripping a shot from the top of the box into the back of the net. Niki Fernandes dished a through-ball to Hatch, who dribbled around two defenders for the score.

Seconds earlier, LSU’s Natalia Gomez-Junco nearly had an Olimpico goal, driving the ball from the left corner flag toward the far post before it rattled off the woodwork and started the counterattack that led to Hatch’s goal.

Jaiden Thornock entered as a substitute in the 83rd minute of the match and wasted little time by notching a shot on goal with her first touch of the game and forcing a save from LSU goalkeeper Lily Alfeld, who made six saves.

Gomes got on the score sheet with five minutes left, capping off a bit of confusion inside LSU’s penalty box. The freshman international forward tapped home a ball after Medeiros’ shot fell at Gomes’ feet.

“There was a lot of chaos in the box,” Gomes said. “After the ball came out to Elena, she shot it and it fell right to me. It hit my foot, and I just took a touch and guessed where it was going to go in. Luckily, it did. I was really happy.”

BYU outshot the Tigers, 17-11, including a 9-7 edge in shots on target. The Cougars are putting balls in the back of the net after only registering twice in the first three games.

“We’ve been talking a lot about valuing the goal,” Gomes said. “We’re just keeping it in, making good passes and being open to make good runs so we can be in good places to score.”


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Sean Walker


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