BYU Men’s Soccer started their season with a 5-1 win over local rivals University of Utah on Saturday. Cougars’ Michael Anderson was named the man of the match for his role in both the first and third goals against Utah.
Utah held firm in their defensive resolve and departed from their historically physical high press, opting for a more austere approach as they absorbed offensive pressure. After multiple spurned chances, a Utah defender scored an own goal due in large part to Anderson’s pressure in the six-yard box. Jake Ence also opened his account with an unorthodox finish off his own face.
After halftime, several BYU substitutions were made, and Utah began to exert themselves before Anderson scored the Cougars’ third goal. The Cougars scored their fourth and fifth goals before the Utes answered with their own off a set piece in the dying moments of the game. Perhaps the most frustrating part of the game was BYU’s inability to maintain a clean sheet in their season opener, but there were bright spots all throughout the match.
Man of the match Michael Anderson expressed satisfaction with the Cougars’ defensive pressure and score line: “We did a great job winning balls high up the field and although we didn’t finish as well as we could have, we still scored five goals because we created lots of chances.” At the same time, Anderson acknowledged that Utah began to turn the tide and that BYU needs to focus on “not letting the level of play drop even for a few minutes.”
The Cougars will continue their season at home against Weber State this Saturday at 7:00 pm at South Field. Tickets for the game can be purchased at https://eventtickets.byu.edu/?view=page&i=byu-men-39-s-soccer-2019POBdR7.