The simple recap:
It wasn’t a pretty game, but we came away with three points.
The longer story:
For the first two-thirds of the game, neither side really looked like they wanted the win. Ogden played a very tightly packed, defensive game while BYU spend a long time playing around the wings and probing for an exploitable weakness. Both sides managed to create some chances, but weren’t able to capitilize due to poor finishing.
A BYU triple subsitution in the 55th minute led to some crisper, more energetic play and, eventually, a goal in the 69th minute by Tyson Miller (assisted by Brock Trejo). Coach Watkins said “[O]ur subs came up big for us. We have come to rely on them.”
I’ve heard several people call Trejo the best player on the team, and on this goal he showed why he gets such praise. He took possesion of the ball in the box and drew the goal keeper and a couple of defenders, then cooly dumped a pass off to Miller who was wide open less than ten feet from the open goal.
Once again the ref didn’t do a very good job of controlling the game. There were a number of missed or bad calls early on, and only when the match got close did he really start to enforce things. Even then, there were two ref’s decisions that could have cost BYU the game.
- The first came around the 70th minute (I didn’t catch the exact time), when Ogden substituted Ken Hickman onto the field even though he wasn’t on the sub list. Coach Watkins spent some significant time trying to get the refs to call this, but seemed to be warned that if he kept it up he’d get tossed. Not a good call by the officials involved, we’ll have to see what the USL does about it.
- The second was a Yellow Card awarded to Zach DeFrancis (last week’s PDL Player of the Week ) in the 81st minute. The call really seemed like a reach for what looked like a pretty minor foul. It was compounded a minute later when DeFrancis was awarded a second yellow (this one deserved) and ejected.
With this win, BYU is 11 points ahead of FC Tacoma in the standings. Tacoma has 12 points still available in their season so a Tacoma loss or tie, or a BYU win in any upcoming game will clinch the division for BYU. Tacoma faces the Cascade surge on Friday and the Yakima Reds on Saturday—what can I say but ‘Go Cascades! Go Reds!’
BYU will face Ogden again when they travel to Ogden on Saturday to play the final game of their intra-Utah series (which BYU leads 2-0-1). Given the history between the two teams, this should be another close fought game.