This was a huge win for us tonight. I love the way our girls battled against a really good team. They really gave it everything they had. —BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood
Freshman Madie Lyons celebrated her birthday by scoring a game winner, BYU's second goal in a 2-1 win Thursday night against visiting Oregon. With the win, the Cougars improved to 3-3-2, while the Ducks fell to 4-3-1.
“This was a huge win for us tonight,” head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. “I love the way our girls battled against a really good team. They really gave it everything they had.”
The match’s big play came in the 75th minute of the game with the score knotted at 1-1. Lyons stole an Oregon pass and booted a high-arching shot toward the top right corner of the goal, just out of reach of Duck goalie Abby Steele. Lyons' first career goal proved to be enough for the Cougars, who held on for the win at South Field.
BYU’s two goals came off 16 shots. The Cougars defense held the Ducks to eight shots, with just three in the second half.
Oregon scored the lone goal of the first half on an unassisted shot by Allie Rodriguez in the 29th minute. As both teams attempted to control a corner kick from Duck midfielder Lilly Archer, Rodriguez emerged with the ball 15 feet outside the box and sent a high shot toward the Cougar goal. Goalie Katherine Snyder leapt, getting a hand on the ball, but it bounced past her into the net to give the Ducks a 1-0 lead.
BYU had eight shots in the first half. In the 15th minute, Marissa Nimmer intercepted an Oregon pass and sent Ashley Hatch down the left side of the field on the counter attack. Hatch found teammate Michele Murphy in the middle of the box. Without any nearby defenders, Steele left her goal and snuffed out the Cougar threat just before Murphy could control it and attempt a shot.
The Cougars' closest attempt in the first half came just prior to Oregon's goal. Hatch headed Jaiden Thornock's throw in to an open Lyons, who fired wide left.
Nimmer punched in the equalizer early in the second half on a penalty kick. After Oregon defender Reilley Moore fouled Hatch in the box, Nimmer drilled her second goal of the season past Steele in the 49th minute.
Following Nimmer’s goal, both teams stayed off the scoreboard until Lyons’ game winner.
“Hopefully we just keep building,” Rockwood said. “We’ve had two great weeks of practice. Obviously this is a great confidence builder for the girls to beat a great team like Oregon.”
BYU next faces Colorado College at home on Saturday, Sept. 20 at 7:30 p.m. MDT.