Utah State Shocks Nation With BYU Upset

Utah State Shocks Nation With BYU Upset
by Victor Olorunfemi
September 16, 2023

In one of the biggest upsets of recent college soccer history, Utah State defeated No. 2 BYU thanks to Summer Diamond’s gem of a goal in the 51st minute. In a storybook moment, Diamond, a Utah native, showed great composure to take a touch in a crowded box before placing her left-footed shot into the bottom corner from just inside the eighteen.

Despite previously upsetting BYU in 2021, very few would have given Utah State a chance as they came into the game with a 2-5-1 record and winless in their last three with no goals scored. BYU was ranked second by TDS and No. 1 by other publications as they entered at 7-0-1, having scored at least three goals in five straight games. Furthermore, BYU had a 13-1-1 advantage in the all-time series and has the in-state recruiting edge, with the two rosters featuring 45 players from Utah.

But as the game kicked off, it was clear something special was brewing. For one, Utah State would earn a corner kick just 90 seconds into the game and went blow for blow with the giants, as BYU held a slender 5-4 edge in shooting at halftime, highly unusual for a team that came in ranked 13th in the nation with 20 shots a game despite their loaded schedule.

And even when Utah State would score in the 51st, a goal that many assumed would light a fire under BYU, the expected onslaught never materialized, with the Cougars managing only four shots on target from that moment on. That frustration would finally boil over in the 88th minute as senior Jamie Shepherd received a red card for violent conduct as she stomped on an opponent. It was an uncharacteristic moment for a player who had only been carded six times in her 91 college soccer starts.

As the final whistle blew and hundreds of fans stormed the field, Coach Manny Martins and his staff could celebrate the rewards of an excellent game plan to limit transition moments for BYU, something they thrive on. Along with Diamond and other outstanding performances like Kaylie Chambers, who provided the assist, Diera Walton in goal with her six saves, and the formidable backline of Kylie Olsen, Addy Symonds-Weichers, Kelsey Kaufusi, and Kasie Vigil, Utah State earns an upset that will go down in history.

BYU will have some much-needed time off as some heavy legs due to a tight schedule may have finally caught up to them in an uncharacteristic low-energy performance, with this loss marking their third game in just seven days. They line up next against Baylor on September 21 in an away Big 12 matchup.

Utah State will use this historic upset as a springboard to turn their season around as they begin Mountain West play against Air Force on September 21 in a road game.

Related Topics: Big 12, Mountain West
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