Wonders falter against BYU

That was ugly.

The Nevada Wonders had been playing some of their best soccer in their short two-year history, coming off a sweep in the Pacific Northwest last weekend where they beat the Yakima Reds 3-1 and the Cascade Surge 3-2. But that brand of soccer the Wonders had been playing was not present in shape or form on Friday at Edmonds Park.

The Wonders played arguably their worst game of the year in a 4-0 loss to the BYU Cougars. It didn't help matters any that a blown call by the officials helped BYU break a scoreless tie in the second half. BYU scored two goals in the second half after it was clearly offsides, but the Wonders also didn't help themselves.

"Probably in a long time," said Wonders coach Paul Aigbogun if Friday's game was his team's worst effort of the year. "We didn't play well at all.

"Too many people didn't play well all together at the same time. It's a shame after we've been doing so well."

The Wonders will have a chance to put the sour taste out of their mouth from Friday's game and end the year right when they host the California Gold of Modesto in their season finale. The game will again be played at 6 p.m. today at Edmonds Park due to the fact that Carson High is being used as a Red Cross center as a result of the Waterfall fire. "Hopefully we'll end on a good note," Aigbogun said.

Aigbogun said the Wonders have been hurt because they haven't been able to practice due to the fire. But Aigbogun wouldn't use that as an excuse. "That's neither here or there," he said.

A BYU player was clearly offsides in the second half on a breakaway, but no call was made. The BYU missed the shot wide, but after there was contact on the play, the officials decided to award the Cougars a penalty kick. BYU scored on a the penalty kick to take a 1-0 lead.

"I did feel the referees' decision changed the game," Aigbogun said. "I don't know what the PK was for after it was offsides to start with."

The Wonders then made a bad pass and BYU took advantage of the defensive mistake to score to make it 2-0. It looked like the Wonders might be able to get back into the game when it had a breakaway in which the goalie had to come out. But Sam Sneed's shot was stopped by a defender.

BYU then put the game out of reach by scoring on a shot from 30 yards to make it 3-0. For good measure, the officials allowed BYU to score again after it was clearly offsides for a second time to finish the scoring.

The Wonders had two excellent chances to take the lead early in the second half. Geoff Scott's shot from 20 yards bounced off the crossbar. Moments later, Stanton Smith sent a free kick forward that Mikey Varas was able to place his head on, but the goalie stopped Varas' header.

In the first half, the Wonders' best scoring chance came when a shot from 30 yards by Abraham Martinez bounced off the crossbar. Other Wonders who took shots included Anthony Grillo, Norman Leresque, Smith, Audren Cashman and David Martin.

As far as the play of goalie Katani Mitsonari, the score was deceiving as Mitsonari had a solid game with nine saves.

Contact Charles Whisnand at cwhisnand@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1214.


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