Even with starting striker Auna Doria on the sideline, BYU soccer did what it's done all season:
Spread the wealth.
Defender Lindsi Lisonbee's perfectly placed header off a Jessica Ringwood corner kick snapped 0-0 tie with 18:22 remaining, proving the difference in the Cougars' 1-0 victory at home over Utah State. Lisonbee's score made her the sixth player on the roster with at least two goals on the season and one of 11 players overall to have scored at least once.
Lisonbee, an All-American defender, is the only non-forward with more than one goal.
"Lindsi's a big-time player," BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. "She's a great leader on the field. We rely so much on her defensively, but we also know in set pieces she can come up and score at any time. She came through today and that was a fantastic goal."
The Cougars will need Lisonbee and others to turn in more big-time performances after losing Doria to a torn ACL earlier this week. The senior forward came into the season as a reserve before quickly impressing the coaching staff with a stellar preseason. She was quickly handed a starting spot and didn't disappoint, going on to produce two goals and an assist before sustaining her injury against Idaho.
Incredibly, Doria attended Thursday night's game despite undergoing reconstructive surgery on her ACL earlier the same day.
"It's a really big loss," Rockwood said. "She's such a big part of our team. She's worked so hard this year. She had such a great season until she got injured. But Auna is just a special kid. She had a note that she wanted the team to read before the game and she made a video for us. Auna will always be there and the girls will play for her."
Lisonbee echoed Rockwood's remarks, citing Doria's encouraging outlook despite the early end to her season.
"One of the most positive people, one of the most amazing girls on our team," Lisonbee said. "She sent us an e-mail [letting us know], and it was so great. It was so hard [to lose her], but we had to play."
BYU (6-3-2) hopes to keep playing with the same success they had this week. Consecutive wins over Idaho and now Utah State come on the heels of back-to-back losses to Oklahoma and No. 2 Oklahoma State. The Cougars begin conference play in the WCC for the first time next week when they host Portland State, and they will look to avoid dropping their fourth game of the season after losing just three games all of last year.
"I think a lot of it started with the pressure everybody felt at the beginning of the year, knowing we had so many returning and a great class, high expectations," Rockwood said. "That's a lot playing in front of so many fans. It wears on you and if you don't have success, sometimes you start questioning yourselves. We just wanted to find our confidence and try as coaches to alleviate pressure from the players."