The Shot Heard 'Round the Campus

When David Clark scored on a left-footed shot from the top of the 18-yard box, it was the "the shot heard ‘round the campus" – at least it was according to BYU Head Coach Chris Watkins. Not only did the goal put BYU ahead in its first ever PDL playoff game, it also raised the spirits of a team that had struggled of late.

In what was easily the biggest victory in the history of BYU's men's soccer program, the Cougars defeated the Southern California Seahorses 2-1 in the PDL Western Conference semi-finals.

Clark's goal was the first in more than four games for BYU. And it was just was the team needed. The game plan called for getting an early goal.

"Coach told us that they hadn't given up a goal in like nine games," Clark said. "He said that when a team with that kind of momentum finally does give one up, they don't know how to respond, and they could go into panic mode. That's what happened."

BYU did have some trouble settling down after the 37th minute goal. Right before the half, the Seahorses were able to tie the game on a penalty kick, but the coaching staff did not focus on that in the locker room.

"At the half, we just stayed positive," Watkins said. "We didn't even mention their goal. All we did was point to the board and say, ‘Our game plan was to score on them and we did.' We told them [the Seahorses] are vulnerable. We'd found the chink in their armor."

In the second half, BYU sealed the game on a break away goal by Jacob Cavanaugh in the 61st minute. Cavanaugh was making a run to the goal when a pass got deflected right into his path. He ran onto the ball and found himself all alone with the keeper.

"I just tucked it in the near post," he said of the game-winning goal.

Coach Watkins was a bit more descriptive as he recalled that thinking that Cavanaugh's second touch was a bit too much and gave the keeper a better chance of making the save. Watkins was thrilled to see Cavanaugh's speed and skill win out and the ball end up in the back of the net.

"We worked hard tonight," Watkins said. "We deserved the success. We came out strong and we worked our guts out. We finished our chances and it was the biggest win in the program's history. The win gave us a good feeling going into tomorrow night's game."

BYU will play again tomorrow night against the Orange County Blue Star. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. on South Field.


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