Zags Put Scare Into No. 5 BYU But Ultimately Fall 4-1
PROVO, Utah - Gonzaga University women's soccer and No. 5 BYU were tied 1-1 with 35 minutes remaining in the match but three goals by the Cougars down the stretch helped them starve off the Bulldogs and earn the 4-1 victory.
"I felt like we battled really hard and still continued to keep ourselves into the game until those last 30 minutes," explained Zag head coach Amy Edwards after the match. "That is the continued focus for us in the growth on our program."
It was a goal by sophomore Kasey Rubosky three minutes into the second half that tied the match and had the Cougars stunned.
Junior Emily Eckmann started the play off for the Bulldogs, hitting a shot off the cross bar. The ball came down just outside of the goal line. With BYU keeper Erica Owens and a defender trying desperately to clear it, it was Rubosky who got to it first, using her thighs to push the ball into the goal.
The goal at the 47:54 mark was just the ninth allowed by the league-leading Cougars.
BYU had taken a 1-0 lead into halftime with what appeared to be a Gonzaga own goal 8:12 into the match. Lindsi Cutshall had blasted a free kick into the middle of the Zags goal box that sophomore Cricket Harber tried to head away, but unfortunately she redirected the ball into the goal.
It was at the 54:30 mark that the Cougars finally took control of the match. A header by Cloee Colohan broke the tie and started a three-goal-in-18-minutes-explosion.
Michele Murphy tallied the Cougars third goal, her team-leading eighth of the season at 63:12. Jessica Ringwood closed out the scoring with her seventh goal of the year at 72:59.
Gonzaga had a few opportunities in the final minutes but a Heather Johnson blast from just outside the 18-yard box skimmed off the right post and went out of bounds. Tori Lee also got free behind the BYU defense, but she wasn't able to get a shot off before the defense recovered and got the ball away from danger.
Bulldog keeper Susan Brown was phenomenal all match long and finished with eight saves.
Gonzaga fell to 6-8-1 with the loss and 0-3-1 in the West Coast Conference. BYU improved to 14-1-1, 3-0-1 in league and have now not lost in 13 matches.
The Zags return to action Sunday when they play at No. 19 Santa Clara University. The match is set for 11 a.m.