BYU Men's Soccer Heads To Nationals
On October 27th BYU Men's Soccer Stepped into Regionals held at UVU with a 7-0-1 record. The Cougars were undefeated and eager to continue that run, but it would not be easy as they would need to play 5 games over a 36 hour period to claim the Regional Tournament and qualify for Nationals.
On Friday BYU kicked off the tournament against Gonzaga who also stepped into the tournament undefeated but the Cougars changed that quickly by putting 5 goals past Gonzaga and keeping the clean sheet! Up next that same night was Oregon State. Oregon State had a tough high scoring game against UVU and took their first loss earlier in the day. They needed a good performance to stay alive in the tournament but a strong BYU Team put 9 goals past them as Tanner Whitworth Scored 4!
BYU was scheduled to play its last bracket game at 12:30 pm Saturday afternoon. With two wins the Cougars were able to rest some players and get additional minutes for others. UVU put up a great battle but the Cougars took the final bracket game 4-2. Rest and recovery would be the focus the rest of the day! WIth a good lunch and keeping the players off their feet they were scheduled to hit the Semi-Final game at 5:00 pm against the University of Utah. Utah came out with a strong game plan. Keep numbers back and allow their top forward freedom to chase down as many balls as possible. This proved very effective for Utah with the first half ending 1-1, however, it wouldn't stay that way. The Cougars pushed even harder in the second half to eventually win the game 4-1 and gain a spot in the final at 8:00 pm.
With the semi-final game ending at 6:45 pm and the finals kicking off at 8:00 pm there was not much opportunity for the Cougars to recovery, but with a great staff having food on hand and setting the players up with recovery boots, massages and anything else they needed the players started to prepare for a final against Utah State. Utah State had a great tournament and was the only team during the season that found a way to frustrate the Cougar offense in the opening game of the season.
This game would not be the same as the last meeting. The first time the two teams played, BYU had finished tryouts just two days before and held only a single one hour practice. With 7 new players from the previous summer season, BYU was going to need to get those players adapted with the returning players and it showed during the final how things have changed in just a month and a half. The game stayed close through the first with BYU going up 1-0 and creating countless chances but then in the second half BYU scored its second goal and put the game away by keeping the ball with nearly 70% possession.
The Cougars finished the final 2-0 and pushed their season record to 12-0-1 and a spot in the National Tournament on November 16-18 in Phoenix Arizona! Come Join us as we now prepare for a National Championship!