Logan/Provo, Utah – After week two, the Cougs sit at 4-0 in their 2018 title defense. The past weekend was filled with ups, downs, fouls, and goals for the boys in blue and white. On Friday, the boys headed up to Logan, Utah to face off against fierce collegiate club rivals, Utah State. Last season, the Aggies held the Cougs to their only tie in collegiate club play. The tie came a week after tryouts and was the first game of the season for BYU in Fall of 2017. Additionally, the Aggies always come out extremely hard to beat up the Cougs with their physical, hardworking style of play.
In the match Friday, both squads came out hot to play. The fans were into the game from the opening whistle, and the Aggies came out encouraged and hopeful. The match was their opening homestand, so the fans were eager to banter the Cougar soccer team. The boys in blue dominated possession early and had multiple shots challenging the goalkeeper. In the 7th minute, Ace Phillips dived down the left side and crossed the ball to Tanner Whitworth who subsequently finished with his noggin. Shortly after, in the 16th minute, Jake Ence diced up his defender on the corner of the 18 and drew a clear foul in the box. Christian Bain stepped to the spot, and calmly finished the penalty-kick on the left side.
The Cougs continued to dominate possession and were firm in the back until a defensive mental slip let the Aggies back in the game. At the half, the score sat at 2-1 and the momentum was on the Aggies side for the time. Fortunately, the Cougs weathered the second half storm with their possession, stout defense, and calm presence on the ball. Again, the Cougs dominated possession and scored the dagger in the 65th minute of play. Seth Fankhauser played a silky-smooth pass to Eric Morris who finished with his shoulder. The game was tough, but the squad stayed strong and got the dub over the Aggies.
Saturday, the boys were excited to play at home against Utah County rivals, UVU club. The match started exciting, with both teams possessing the ball early. In the 9th minute, the Brighton High connection was the difference in the scoreline in favor of BYU. Connor Fordham curved a ball early from half field to fellow Brighton Bengal, Taylor Fankhauser, who finished the one-on-one chance with the goalkeeper. Go Bengals. After the goal, the match was fairly even with UVU running a good counterattack against the Cougs defense. UVU failed to attain a shot on target but had stints of good possession on the ball. In the 44th minute, the Cougars broke through once again. Davis Walker slipped a ball through to Jake Ence, who finished top shelf on the goalie. At the half, the score sat at 2-0 Cougs.
After the first half of play, super sub-Eric Morris stepped on the pitch with a goal in his eyes; with his first touch of the match, the freshman finished a superb cross from outside back, Connor Fordham. In the 46th minute, the scoreline was 3-0. The Cougs possessed the ball for the majority of the rest of the game. Brendan Ottman made one huge save in the second half to preserve the clean sheet; Tanner Whitworth finished one more chance for the Cougs on an errant clearance from UVU. The match finished 4-0 in favor of BYU.
Next week, the Cougs head to sunny San Diego, California to play in the Aztec Cup. Follow @byusoccer on twitter for live updates on the upcoming weekend.