No. 10 BYU and No. 12 Texas A&M both came into Thursday’s match at South Field with virtually impenetrable defenses.
The Cougars found a way to break through the Aggies’ wall.
Elise Flake scored two goals in a three-minute span in the first half and the BYU defense still hasn’t allowed a goal in the run of play, moving to 5-0-0 with a 2-0 victory on Thursday in front of 3,712 appreciative fans at South Field.
Texas A&M (4-1-2) had five shutouts in its first six matches and didn’t surrender a goal in 563 minutes of play – until Thursday night, when the Cougars bombarded the Aggies defense and outshot their visitors by a whopping 22-4.
“One thing Jen (BYU coach Jennifer Rockwood) talks about a lot is getting two goals in the first half,” Flake said. “Once we get one we have to put the second one away so we just kept pushing. We got lots of shots off on goal in the first half and knew the goals would come if we kept going at them and attacking their back line.”
Cameron Tucker and Flake had good shots early but the breakthrough for the Cougars came in the 34th minute. Jose Guinn’s pass got to Flake in the box and her powerful shot deflected in for a 1-0 lead. Just moments later, Flake scored again with a strong move around a defender in the box for a 2-0 lead in the 37th minute.
“We take a lot of pride in our attack,” Rockwood said. “We have such dangerous attacking players and we spend a lot of time encourage them to use their skills 1v1 attacking. Sometimes your best offense is to make your opponent play more defense then they are used to. The girls were able to be so dangerous tonight so they (Texas A&M) were having to defend a lot more. It’s hard to get in rhythm when you’re defending a lot.”
Those two goals stood up, mainly because the BYU defense smothered the Aggies potent attack. Texas A&M’s leading scorer, Ally Watt, got off just one shot and Cougar keeper Sabrina Davis was never really threatened.
“Or motto this year is ‘find a way,’” Davis said. “We made sure that we found a way to put the ball in the back of the net and get the results we wanted. We just play to our strengths. We don’t worry about what the other team is doing. We worry about ourselves our strengths, which are pressing communication, getting the ball and getting the work done.”
Senior defender Alyssa Jefferson said an experienced back line, which returned all four starters this year, is in sync with each other.
“The shutout is huge,” Jefferson said. “The shutout means the world to us. It’s fun to score goals, but it’s even more fun knowing you held one of the best teams in the country to just four shots.”
The win also avenged a 2-0 BYU loss in College Station last season.
“You couldn’t script it any better than to come in against one of the premier programs in the country that is undefeated and has had such a great season,” Rockwood said. “To play on South Field in front of our fans, it’s a really big deal. That’s what you want as a player. You want to play the best and see what you have in you.”
BYU travels to Orem on Monday to take on Utah Valley before playing its next three matches on the road.