BYU 1, FC Tucson 0: Record crowd watches FC Tucson falter

2013-07-21T00:00:00Z BYU 1, FC Tucson 0: Record crowd watches FC Tucson falterDave Ord Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
July 21, 2013 12:00 am  • 

FC Tucson's final match had all the markings of a successful ending, including another record crowd that turned the enthusiasm up an extra notch.

But the fervor of the 1,061 fans at Kino Sports Complex North Field No. 5 on Saturday night was not equaled by the team in a 1-0 loss to the BYU Cougars.

"We just didn't match their energy consistently enough," FC Tucson assistant coach Jeff Rogers said. "And you really have to give them credit. They work hard. They're disciplined. That being said, we didn't play well."

FC Tucson came close to an equalizer twice in the final four minutes, both chances coming on James Huffer headers.

In the 86th minute, Huffer was completely horizontal when his diving header met a long, diagonal pass from Saeed Robinson. But the header flashed just wide.

"I just got behind the defense, and it was a great ball from Saeed," Huffer said. "I saw he was about to play it to the back post, and that's where I made my run. I dove for it, but it went wide."

Huffer, who came on in the 79th minute, had another header that hit the post in the 90th minute.

"We just couldn't put it together," Huffer said.

For the second time in the last three matches, FC Tucson set an attendance record. It drew 1,022 on July 13.

FC Tucson dominated play in the first 20 minutes but failed to capitalize. In one two-minute span, FC Tucson had three corners and a couple of shots on the BYU goal.

The loss dropped FC Tucson into fifth place in the USL Premier Development League's Southwest Division. FC Tucson finished the season with 19 points. BYU ended up with 20 points.

Wearing jerseys that could be deemed soccer's equivalent to pinstripes, the bigger BYU squad showed its muscle in the first half and also managed four shots on goal in the opening 45 minutes while trying to counterattack FC Tucson's forward movement.

FC Tucson almost grabbed the lead in the first six minutes of the second half when Isaac Ikyurav's hard shot was turned away after an acrobatic stop by BYU goalkeeper Jake Peterson.

A minute later, BYU took the lead when Jace Green finished off a rebound after goalkeeper Dallas Jaye parried away a prior shot.

Peterson snagged another shot in the 67th minute to keep the Cougars ahead.

In the 75th minute, Peterson fought through a crowd to grab the ball after an FC Tucson corner.

Stoppage time

• Tucson Soccer Academy FC lost 2-0 to the San Diego SeaLions in a WPSL Western Regional semifinal in Elk Grove, Calif., on Saturday night. The loss means TSAFC will play a consolation match today at 5 p.m. at Elk Grove against the loser of Saturday night's late semifinal between AC Seattle and Storm Elk Grove.

• Olympians defeated Spartacus Chapman 5-3 on penalties in the Chapman Tucson Champions League Over-45 final in the opening match of the doubleheader Saturday night. The two Tucson Metro Soccer League teams tied 1-1 after regulation.

• Banging to their heart's content in the Cactus Pricks section were green-shirted members of the Children Carrying the Sound group. The nonprofit organization is a local youth drum and dance group in its fourth year. The group of about 18 brought 13 drums.

• FC Tucson's youth team went 1-2 during its Southern California road trip. The team, made up of players between ages 12 and 14, arrived back in time for FC Tucson's match against BYU despite playing earlier in the day.

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