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Olivia Wade leads BYU to victory over Utah in final minutes

SHARE Olivia Wade leads BYU to victory over Utah in final minutes
BYU’s Olivia Wade is defended by Arkansas players on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022.

BYU’s Olivia Wade is defended by Arkansas players on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022.

Jaren Wilkey/BYU

It’s been eight years since BYU women’s soccer last lost to Utah, and that run continued Saturday night at South Field, albeit in somewhat dramatic fashion.

Utah tied the game at 1-1 in the 89th minute, but BYU junior midfielder Olivia Wade answered back in the same minute, ending the red-clad players’ goal celebration with a gut-punching decider and keeping the Utes winless over the Cougars in Provo since 2007.

The goal gave Wade both Cougars’ scores on the night. It also gave BYU its first victory this year when allowing its opponent to score.

“We moved her up to a new position tonight,” BYU coach Jennifer Rockwood said of Wade. “She has one of the best shots on our team. We wanted to get her a little closer to the goal, and for sure she came through for us.”

Both teams were coming off rivalry matchups with Utah State. Utah defeated the Aggies in Salt Lake while BYU left Logan with a tie.

The Cougars have faced some early season struggles after starting the year ranked No. 3 and coming off a 2021 College Cup appearance. Following two winless weeks, BYU had dropped to No. 25 heading into its contest with the Utes.

Two home losses, one to Alabama at the beginning of the month and another last Saturday against UVU, gave BYU its most defeats at South Field since 2018. The Cougars’ early season adversity made this victory extra sweet.

“This is a huge win,” Rockwood said. “I’m really proud of the team and the effort they gave; a hundred percent tonight. It’s always a big win against Utah.”

BYU’s win over the Utes gives the school its first victory over an in-state rival this year. The Cougars hope it will also help them right their ship moving forward.

“It’s a win that we really needed,” Rockwood said. “We’ve had some bumps along the way so far in the nonconference that have been unlucky. We changed our formation, moved some people around and I thought the girls played really well.”

The rival squads played to a scoreless first half, with BYU staying in control for the better part of the initial 45 minutes. One of the Cougars’ best chances to put points on the board came on a free kick just outside the box in the final seconds of the half. Wade took the shot, but it, and a golden opportunity, sailed over the crossbar.

Wade made the most of her opportunities in the second half, finding the back of the net in the 78th minute as BYU remained in control and aggressively attacked the Utah defense.

Her game winner would come 12 minutes later, sending the South Field crowd of 3,835 into a frenzy.

The Cougars finished the match with 28 shots to the Utes’ eight. Nine of BYU’s shots were on frame, with Wade and junior forward Brecken Mozingo accounting for six of those.

Utah finished the evening with four shots on goal, with Ryann Cull getting her team’s lone score.

The win is the Cougars’ second at South Field this season and marked just the second road match of the year for the Utes, who began their season with a 2-2 draw at Portland. From there, Utah went 4-1-1 through six straight games in Salt Lake City. 

Both teams will begin conference play in their next matches. BYU will face Saint Mary’s on the road in two weeks, while Utah returns home to battle Arizona on Friday.