BYU 1 (Holmoe PK 82′) – 0 Long Beach State
BYU dominated Long Beach State on the stat sheet for virtually the entire night on Thursday but needed Carlee Payne Holmoe’s strike from the penalty spot in the final ten minutes to ensure themselves of the win. Niki Fernandes had been upended in the box by LBSU, leading to the spot kick which was duly converted by the Cougars. Though the visitors would create a few scoring opportunities on the evening, including on a 1v1 for Nadia Link in the second half that was shot wide, they finished without a shot on goal and with just four off-target attempts for the game. It was a rather jarring comedown for a club that had scored two goals in each of its first three games. This was a very good win for BYU and one that should significantly boost their NCAA Tournament hopes come the end of the season. The finishing still has to get much better if the Cougars are to contend for a league title in the WCC, but the weapons are definitely there, with the home side peppering the LBSU goal with shots all game long. There just can’t be any letdown now with a tricky game against Colorado College coming up on Saturday night before a big two-game set against Texas and Penn State next weekend.
This was Long Beach’s first road test of the season, and it really didn’t go that well, despite the club being in it until the very end. Being outshot by a 5:1 ratio on the night was pretty ghastly, and not putting a shot on goal was just as bad, though Link did have the breakaway opportunity late in the second half. With a big road trip to Texas coming next week, the struggles here weren’t exactly the best of signs. LBSU does have a home date on Sunday though, heading back to Long Beach to face a Michigan team that will be desperate to avoid a weekend sweep on the road. While the Beach has a good looking non-conference profile thus far, a win over the Wolverines would likely be a big boost come the end of the season and the RPI.