PROVO The BYU women's soccer team inaugurated its newly renovated home field with a goalfest against 19th-ranked Georgia on Friday.
In front of an overflow crowd of 3,066, the Cougars scored early and often in a 4-1 win. Katie Larkin had two of BYU's goals, and freshman Lauren Anderson had two assists.
On Monday, the Cougars were on the opposite end of a 4-1 score line, losing on the road to LSU. The team was eager to erase that game from memory and move on.
"We're playing hard teams so we can be better," said BYU coach Jennifer Rockwood. "We saw what we needed to do, we made some adjustments, and the girls really responded positively."
Larkin opened up the scoring in the third minute, beating the 'keeper on a breakaway after a through ball from Anderson. Georgia tied the score in the ninth minute when Carrie Patterson knocked in a lose corner kick, but that was all the highlights the Bulldogs would get.
The Cougars found space on the counterattack all night long, and created a lot of chances coming out of their own half.
"We were able to move the ball in the midfield and I think that unbalances their defense a little bit," said Rockwood. "Our forwards were able to keep possession. The chemistry is really coming along there."
BYU went back ahead four minutes later when another breakaway run by Larkin set up an empty net for Kassidy Christensen.
Ten minutes into the second half the score was 2-1 when Anderson centered the ball to Larkin just inside the box, and the senior forward made no mistake with her wide-open shot.
Katie Hodgkiss finished off the scoring, rebounding the goalkeeper's mishandled save in the goal box.
BYU's next game is Monday afternoon against Arizona. Georgia will head north to take on Utah on Sunday.
Arizona 4, Utah 0
For the first time in Rich Manning's seven years as Utah soccer coach, the Utes lost their home opener, falling to Arizona 4-0 Friday night at Ute Field.
The deficit was the largest for a Manning-coached team and you can blame the coach for that.
"The last three goals are on me," Manning said.
The Utes were down 1-0 most of the game and in an effort to try to even the score, Manning played with one fewer defender and an extra forward in the last 10 minutes and it backfired.
"We played with three in the back and we obviously weren't prepared for it and that's on me," Manning said. "But if you take that away, I thought we played well. We just couldn't score."
The Utes had played well last week on the road, losing an overtime game and winning one in North Carolina. They started three freshmen and four sophomores and the top three reserves were freshmen.
Arizona scored just 70 seconds into the game on a pass from Karina Camacho over the Ute defense to Renae Cuellar, who punched it past Emalee Rogers.
"There were a lot of nervous kids out there tonight," Manning said. "She passed it over the top and we weren't paying attention."
The Utes had their chances with three shots on goal in each half, including a point-blank shot by Lauren Hair with 15 minutes left that Chelsea McIntyre stopped.
"Normally I think Lauren would put that away," Manning said.
Soon after, the floodgates opened. London King got loose down the left side and centered it to Brianna Caceres, who scored in front of the goal in the 80th minute.
In the 85th minute Camacho popped one over Rogers and in the final minute King scored with an assist from Camacho.
"The score doesn't disappoint me," said Manning. "It was really a 1-0 game. I would rather lose 4-0 and try to tie it than sit back. I'll take that risk."
The Utes play Sunday at 1 p.m. against Georgia at Ute Field.
Oregon 1, Utah State 0
At Eugene, Ore., Utah State soccer allowed only one goal to the University of Oregon, but it was would prove to be one too many as the Aggies fell to the Ducks."We just didn't generate enough offense," USU head coach Heather Cairns said.