BYU Bounces back against Cascade

Nothing seemed to go BYU's way on Friday night. The weather was terrible; the referee missed a hand ball that turned into a goal; and two starters went down with injuries. Everything changed on Saturday, however. From the opening kick to the final whistle, the Cougars were on, and the score proved it.

The Cougars (6-2) could not find the net against Abbotsford on Friday. They put on pressure all night, but shots sailed wide and passes did not connect. BYU's men's soccer team went home rain-drenched and empty handed.

It did not take long for the draught to end on Saturday against the Cascade Surge (2-6) of Salem, Oregon. David Clark knocked home a cross from Travis Winn just 90 seconds into the game.

"It was nice to score on our first shot," said BYU Head Coach Chris Watkins. "We had the game pretty much under control after that."

The Cougars spent the rest of the first half holding the ball and firing a barrage of shots at the Cascade keeper. Several shots found the crossbar or the post, but none found the net.

"We possessed the ball well tonight," said Winn. "Several guys who don't normally play stepped up and played well.

BYU came with the same high level of aggression in the second half, and Winn got back into the scoring in a major way. In the 55th minute, he headed home a beautiful cross from Ken Ojuka. Less than 60 seconds later, Winn fed a pass to Tyson Miller, which BYU's forward chipped over the Surge goalkeeper for the score.

The goal ended a night of frustration for Miller. He had a least seven quality scoring chances earlier in the match, but he was too wide or too high on all of them.

Coach Watkins started using his substitutions after the Cougars went up 3-0. Cameron Lamb and Lehi Mackissack were two of those subs, and in the 70th minute, Mackissack sent the ball Lamb who boomed a shot from the top of the 18-yard box into the top corner of the net.

The game got a little interesting when BYU suffered an injury in the 78th minute. Ken Ojuka went down with a strained quad, and because Coach Watkins had already used the six substitutions that the PDL allows a team per game, the Cougars had to play with 10 men for the last 12 minutes of the match. BYU fended off an onslaught by Cascade for the 4-0 win. The victory avenges a Cougar loss to the Surge earlier in the season.

The injuries are mounting up for BYU. Captain Steve Magleby and defensive stalwart Morgan Gilliam were both hurt on Friday night. Mason McMullin went down in Ogden last week and Jake Cavanaugh was injured the week before that.

"We have a fairly deep team and we've needed it recently," said Coach Watkins. "We've lost six players this season and most of them will not be available for weeks."

The one bright spot health-wise for the Cougars is return of forward Brady Marshall from the disabled list. Marshall saw time in both games this weekend. Last night, he ended the game with a brilliant run down the middle of the field in which he showed some of the speed and toughness that earned him praise from Coach Watkins as the team's most lethal scorer.

On an interesting side note, Marshall tried out for and made the BYU football team as a cornerback earlier this spring. Soccer practice in the morning and football practice in the afternoon proved to be too much for Marshall , so he gave up his walk-on spot with the football team. The Modesto, California product informed TBS that he runs a 4.4 forty.

The Cougars now pack their bags and head to Phoenix, Arizona for the first round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. BYU will play the Arizona Sahuaros on Wednesday June 14th at 7:30 p.m. PT. The match will be held at the Grand Canyon University Soccer Field.

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