June 16, 2017
The good news is the new surface at South Field is pretty awesome.
The bad news is the BYU men’s soccer team couldn’t rely on the home field advantage on Friday, dropping a 2-1 decision to FC Boulder.
In the first official game played on the newly sodded field, BYU struggled to take advantage of numerous scoring opportunities and didn’t put the ball in the back of the net until extra time. By then it was too late to make up a 2-0 deficit.
“We had opportunities to win and we had opportunities to lose,” BYU coach Brandon Gilliam said. “The ones to win the game, we didn’t produce. The ones to lose, we allowed. It’s as simple as that. Easily we can prevent two goals and easily we can score three to four, and we didn’t do either one. They were the better team top of the box to top of the box. Inside each box, we lost the game.”
The first half was both emotional and intense. BYU goalkeeper Trevor Lesueur and his counterpart, FC Boulder’s Thomas Hooker, were equal to the task for much of the first half. Lesueur had two outstanding saves on FC Boulder scoring chances to keep the game scoreless. In the game’s 33rd minute, FC Boulder regained control of a shot that Lesueur knocked away. Good passing resulted in a great look for Ryosuke Kinishito, and his score made it a 1-0 lead for the visitors.
FC Boulder thought it had another goal on a breakaway moments later but an offside call negated that score, setting both teams on edge for the remainder of the half.
Lesueur started the second half with another outstanding save and the Cougars had good pressure on the offensive side. BYU had a chance to tie the game in the 58th minute when FC Boulder was called for a hand ball inside the penalty area. But Hooker guessed correctly and blocked Connor Fordham’s attempt to preserve the 1-0 lead.
“We have a PK blocked and kudos to their goalkeeper, it was a great save,” Gilliam said. “But that puts us at 1-1 with momentum and control of the game, and it’s a different outcome. You don’t put one away, that’s what you look at.”
The visitors scored the clincher in the 80th minute when a nice pass led to a goal by Leigh Viedman. The Cougars finally got on the board at the beginning of extra time when Keone Kapisi dropped a slick pass to Chris Tobler, who slotted the ball past Hooker to close the gap to 2-1.
“He (Kapisi) has been on our back line the majority of the season,” Gilliam said. “Connor was looking really gassed so we pushed Keone up and he did great. It was good to see.
BYU couldn’t find the right scoring opportunity in the final three minutes and fell to 3-2-2 overall in Premier Development League play. FC Boulder is 3-3-2 overall and is 1-0-1 against BYU after a 0-0 tie on June 8.
The two teams will play again on Saturday at South Field.
“It just depends on who decides to show up to play,” Gilliam said. “That game is not us and if that team shows up again it’s going to be a tough night.”