BYU Soccer Wins Again, Awaits Open Cup Invite

The Cougars are still perfect at home following a 3-1 victory over the Yakima Reds. The win put BYU in first place in the PDL's Western Conference. For the moment, BYU is also tied for second place in the entire league. The early success means that BYU is in the running for an invitation to the prestigious US Open Cup.

Once again, the Cougars got on the board early and often. Junior captain Brock Trejo got the scoring started in the 17th minute when he netted a rebound off a Jacob Cavanaugh shot. Just a minute later, BYU tallied another score on a corner kick. Cavanaugh sent the ball to the near post where Tyson Miller took it out of the air and put it in the net on a brilliant flying header.

"Tyson Miller's goal off that corner kick was really a world-class goal," said BYU Head Coach Chris Watkins.

Trejo finished his busy night in the 25th minute with a goal on a penalty kick, his second in two nights. The goal marked the end of an amazing weekend for the Cougar midfielder. In two games, Trejo amassed three goals and an assist. The North Carolina State transfer credits the play of his teammates for his recent success.

"Our forwards are taking guys on in the box, so there's two penalty kicks, and that's just something I'm designated to do," said Trejo. "I've tried to get into the box a little bit more often than I usually do, and I found a couple opportunities to put some in, so that's been nice."

Yakima scored their only goal in extra time at the end of the first half when BYU keeper Mike Lacey misplayed a ball in front of his own net. A Yakima player wound up with the ball, which he easily deposited in the empty net.

"Mistakes happen," said Lacey. "The ball kind of slipped off my foot. It was an unlucky play."

It was a frustrating moment in what has otherwise been an outstanding season for Lacey. The Cougar keeper allowed only three goals in five games. He saved a penalty kick that preserved a 1-0 victory in BYU's season opener. Lacey was also honored as the goalkeeper of the week two weeks ago.

BYU's goalie is not concerned with the accolades, however. He is only focused on helping the Cougars achieve their goal of postseason play.

"If we keep playing like this, I think we'll win our division and get home field advantage in the playoffs," said Lacey. "We can't get big-headed. We just need to keep it up."

The Cougars find themselves at 4-1 with 12 points in the league standings. BYU has a three-point lead over the second place Ogden Outlaws in the Northwest Division and it is tied for first in the Western Conference. The team is also in a four-way tie for second place in the PDL.

BYU will now await the result of a game between two Southwest Conference teams to determine if they qualify for the 2006 US Open Cup. The top two teams from each PDL conference qualify for the tournament.

The US Open Cup is an annual competition among amateur and professional soccer teams. Major League Soccer, the United Soccer League's first and second division , the PDL and the US Adult Soccer Association all send clubs to the US Open Cup. An invitation to play for the Open Cup would be a tremendous honor for the Cougars.

"It's basically a tournament for all the leagues, and it includes amateur teams and MLS teams—they're all in a tournament together,' explained Watkins. "It's a huge opportunity if we can get there. We'd play [USL] Division II, and then [USL] A League and then MLS—just work our way up the pyramid."

The Cougars play their next in a week on Saturday June 3rd. The team will travel to Ogden High School to face their in-state rivals, the Ogden Outlaws. The game starts at 7:30.

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