Loyal Cougars

BYU soccer completes late comeback to down Oklahoma

Accidentally re-posted football story from 2009? No!

The BYU women’s soccer team was less than 10 minutes away from making history, down 2-0 at home to Oklahoma in what would’ve been the team’s second-straight loss and third-straight shutout. The Cougars had never been held scoreless in three straight matches.

Instead, BYU made a different kind of history — coming back from a 2-0 deficit to win for the first time since 2003.

Jaiden Thornock scored her first goal of the season with less than two minutes remaining, and No. 11 BYU rallied by the Sooners, 3-2, in front of 2,157 fans at South Field.

With Oklahoma playing with 10 players, freshman Ashley Hatch unleashed a shot on Sooners (3-6-0) goalkeeper Kassidie Stade, which the redshirt freshman parried with a quick reflex save. But the ball fell right to the feet of Thornock, who charged into the 18-yard box and buried the game-winner into the roof of the net.

After falling behind 2-0 on first-half goals by Oklahoma’s Caren Nelson and Daisy Cardona, outside back Ella Johnson pushed forward to help a BYU offense that dominated possession while searching for any sort of momentum. The freshman from Centerville, Utah, raced into the offensive third and let fly a ball that cruised past Stade for her first career goal.

BYU (5-1-1) outshot the Sooners, 14-4 on the night, including a 9-0 advantage in the second half. The Cougars, however, couldn’t complete their chances as they threw away eight corner kicks in the first half, pushing forward from a 9-3 advantage over OU from the corner flag.

Hatch would do more of her dirty work again barely a minute later. The Arizona native charged into the area with the ball in an attempt to equalize, but a rough tackle left her crumpled on the ground in a clear denial of a goal-scoring opportunity. OU defender Kathryn Wilson was sent off for the infraction, and the Cougars’ Paige Hunt stepped up to the penalty spot for the equalizing goal with around five minutes left.

That set the stage for Thornock’s heroics. The junior from Ogden, Utah, had yet to find the scoresheet after netting five goals and five assists as a sophomore, but the super sub’s first of her junior campaign brought the crowd into a frenzy for the dying moments.

Senior goalkeeper Erica Owens made two saves for BYU, along with a deft clearance in the final seconds as Oklahoma found space on a counter attack. OU’s Stade finished with five saves.