After ending their winless drought on Friday night, the San Jose Earthquakes U23 team returned to action on Saturday night against the BYU Cougars for the second time this season, but fell 1-2 at Warrior Stadium.
The Earthquakes quickly fell behind 2-0 in the first half after Winston Sorhaitz knocked in both scores with more than 20 minutes to go. By the half, the Earthquakes had dug themselves in a 0-2 hole after starting off wobbly, but with some key substitutions made by Coach Dana Taylor, the Earthquakes picked up right where they left off in Friday’s game and held the Cougars to zero shots in the second half.
“We were playing a fresh team, so I basically started what I thought were five strong players who were fresh and rested, but didn’t bring energy level and commitment to play with one another that needed to be brought against an athletic BYU team,” said Earthquakes U23 head coach Dana Taylor. “At half I brought in many of the normal starters and it was different.”
The Earthquakes U23 are now 1-4-2 for the season and have lost four of their last five games.
The Cougars, who had a day of rest, were playing visitors to the Earthquakes who had played less than 24-hours prior to the pitch and were outshot eight to BYU’s nine in the first half.
Despite the four corner kicks in the first half, no opportunity came the Earthquakes way until the 69th minute when Luis Martinez was able to intercept a pass and rip a 22-yard bomb around the keeper, Brian Hale, and into the side netting.
“This core proved that they can play on the pitch very well. I feel we have a starting and cohesive group that has come together,” said Taylor.
The defense played greedy and allowed no shots to be struck in the second half, while the Earthquakes would strike the net seven times in the second half. However, the effort would only net them one goal after Hale was able to make two clutch saves.
“When we made subs, no shots were allowed in the second half. We were unlucky not to come away without a tie,” Taylor said about his second half substitutions. “Really what I learned out of this is that I will stick with my starting lineup and go as deep into a game as possible, even if it means playing back to back.
“Learning your team doesn’t happen overnight and finally we have players to make a difference and I will stick with it for long as I can and everyone will have to stick around to help us,” Taylor added.
The Earthquakes next game will be at home at Warrior Stadium at 7 p.m. Saturday.