In a game with 35 combined shots, forward Ashley Hatch netted the only goal of the game as the Cougars (7-1-0) handed the Oregon State Beavers (4-1-2) their first loss of the season, 1-0, on Thursday night.
"I thought tonight was a great game,” BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. “We scored early in the game, which is what we were pushing for. Obviously, we would have liked to score another goal, but all in all, I thought it was an excellent performance from our team.”
Hatch, a Hermann Trophy candidate, opened the game with a goal in the 13th minute. She initially headed the cross she received from Paige Hunt, but it didn’t go far. She then settled the ball and placed it in the lower right corner, out of reach of Oregon State keeper Bella Geist’s hands.
The Beavers threatened the Cougars’ lead in the last 10 minutes of the game, including in the 88th minute when a ball was played to midfielder Natalie Higgins. Goalkeeper Rachel Boaz came off her line and punched the ball out of bounds.
BYU finished the game with 26 shots, nine of those shots coming from Hatch. The goal is Hatch’s third of the season.
Oregon State had nine shots on the night, with six coming in the second half.
Michele Murphy Vasconcelos’s free kick in the 87th minute was the next best chance of the night for the Cougars. The forward’s shot from 25 yards out hit the crossbar and sailed out of bounds.
A slow first half only produced nine shots combined. The Cougars added six corner kicks on the night as well, including a sliding shot off of a cross by Bizzy Phillips that just missed the right side of the net in the 42nd minute.
Elena Medeiros almost netted the second goal of the match in the 32nd minute. Madie Lyons crossed a ball low across, and Medeiros’s one touch went barely past the left post. She had two of the six Cougar shots in the first half and six total in the game.
BYU withstood some early pressure, thanks to a strong back line and a combined effort of clearing and heading balls out. Boaz made two saves in the first half, including a long ball by Oregon State’s Helene Haavik. She finished the game with six saves and the shutout.
The Cougars head to California for their next game on Sept. 24, to face Cal Poly. The game will be broadcast at 7:00 p.m. PST, on the Cougar IMG Sports Network and ESPN 960 AM.
Michelle Wood is a public relations student at Brigham Young University with a dream of making it to the Super Bowl one day. While she isn't studying for tests and classes, you can find her in the offices of BYU Athletics, working on media relations.