Courtesy of Utah State Athletics
LOGAN, Utah — Utah State soccer (3-5-1, 0-0 MW) stunned the top team in the nation Saturday afternoon, using a 51st minute goal from freshman midfielder Summer Diamond to earn a 1-0 victory over No. 1 BYU.
A record-setting crowd of 2,013 fans at Chuck and Gloria Bell Field stormed the pitch as the final horn sounded, signaling the highest-ranked win in team history and just the second win over a No. 1 ranked team for any program in Utah State history.
“What can I say? I’m proud of the girls, proud of the staff,” said Utah State head coach Manny Martins. “It’s a collective effort. I’m proud of Diera (Walton) for getting another shutout and for us winning with another freshman scoring like we did two years ago. They’re an incredible team. For us, it’s an honor to be able to measure up to them and to be able to come out with such a positive score. It’s exciting and I’m proud, but I’m also humbled by it. We want to win championships, we want to get to the highest level and we want to be able to compete with teams like this on a regular basis, and today we did.”
The undefeated Cougars entered the match with the nation’s third-highest scoring offense, averaging 3.9 goals per contest, but were held scoreless as Aggie graduate goalkeeper Diera Walton became the program’s all-time shutout leader with the 23rd clean sheet of her career.
In what started as a heavily defensive contest, each side struggled to create opportunities early on. The first 45 minutes of action ended in a deadlock, BYU with five shots to Utah State’s four in the first half.
It took just over five minutes into the second half for Utah State to score the game’s only goal, as the Aggies came out pressing following the halftime break. In the 51st minute, a ball in the box deflected by a BYU player found the feet of USU sophomore midfielder Kaylie Chambers, who weaved her way through defenders to find an open Diamond, who then rocketed a left-footed shot into the bottom corner of the net past the outreached diving fingers of the BYU keeper.
With the lead in hand, Utah State remained aggressive through the final 39 minutes of action, registering six more shots in the contest. The Aggies also remained sound on the defensive end, limiting the BYU opportunities and holding the Cougars to just a single shot in the final 10 minutes of action. In the 88th minute, BYU’s Jamie Shepherd was sent off with a red card for violent conduct, leaving the team with just 10 players for the final moments.
While earning the clean sheet, Walton played all 90 minutes in goal while registering a season-high six saves. She was one of four Aggies to play the entire contest, joining senior defenders Kylie Olsen and Kelsey Kaufusi, and junior defender Addy Symonds-Weichers.
Utah State now hits the road to begin Mountain West play as it travels to Colorado Springs, Colorado, to take on Air Force on Thursday, September 21 at 6 p.m., and Colorado College on Sept. 24 at 12 p.m. Both matches will be streamed on Mountain West Network, with links to the live stream and stats available on utahstateaggies.com.