With a 4-2-1 record the BYU women’s soccer team was on an upward trajectory, its only losses to No. 1 Stanford and at No. 9 Texas A&M.
All that momentum came crashing down in the second half on Monday at South Field.
The Cougars, who had won three straight matches, surrendered three second-half goals in a 3-1 loss to Long Beach State.
BYU controlled the ball much of the game and outshot the 49ers 17-10, but couldn’t hold on to a 1-0 second-half lead.
“This was a super disappointing game for us,” BYU coach Jennifer Rockwood said. “We have a lot to work on. The first half we didn’t attack when we had our opportunities and we had the ball a lot in the first half. We have to get more from attacking players they have to be more dangerous. We’ve been pretty dangerous this year and I’m not sure why tonight we settled for just passing the ball around.”
The first half was scoreless, mostly due to strong work in goal from LBSU’s Imani McDonald and several terrific goal-saving plays from defender Chloe Froment.
BYU finally broke through in the 55th minute. A header from McKayla Colohan was deflected away from the goal by McDonald but the ball came to Madie Gates. She passed to Elise Flake, who centered the ball to freshman Bella Folino for the shot and the goal.
That 1-0 lead only held up for about ten minutes. LBSU’s Ashley Gonzales was pulled down in the box and tallied the penalty kick, putting the ball away from BYU keeper Sabrina Davis in the 65th minute to tie the match at 1-1.
“We were close in the first half on a couple of occasions but we were not as dangerous as we should have been,” Rockwood said. “You’ve got to score in the first half at home. That’s just something we have to expect from our team. We got the go-ahead goal but then you can’t give up a PK. That’s where all the momentum shifted.”
Long Beach took the lead and iced the match on similar shots: High, long drives over the head of Davis. Taylor Bistline’s shot in the 80th minute gave the 49ers a 2-1 lead and three minutes later Rola Badawiya put the game away with another high hard one.
“They were fantastic shots, but we can’t give up those looks,” Rockwood said. “We haven’t been giving up those looks. We just sat back. It was the small, little things that can cost you in soccer. We didn’t have pressure on the ball and they hit two great shots. Give props to them, they put away their chances. We had better chances but they didn’t fall for us.”
The loss was the end of a tough four days for the Cougars. BYU’s match at Marquette was schedule for Friday night but was postponed to Saturday afternoon due to a power outage. The Cougars won 3-0 but didn’t practice on Sunday in preparation for Long Beach State (5-4-0).
BYU (4-3-1) finishes its preseason schedule with a home match against Utah Valley on Friday.