McRae and Epplette fight off Argonauts' attack

McRae and Epplette fight off Argonauts' attack

LAIE, Hawaii – Jake McRae and Jaden Epplette provided strong play to guide BYU-Hawaii men's soccer to a 2-1 victory over Notre Dame de Namur on Thursday at the BYU-Hawaii Soccer Field.

McRae created space with both timing and speed on runs into the box to score two goals for the Seasiders (3-3, 1-1 PacWest). Epplete (2-2) was a force in the net for BYU-Hawaii finishing with six saves. Esteban Berumen led the Argonauts (2-5, 1-2 PacWest) with three shots and one goal.

NDNU outshot BYU-Hawaii 12-6, but the Seasiders connected on both their shots on frame.

McRae opened the scoring in the seventh minute after Matt Roberts placed a perfect ball over the top and McRae put his head on it before the keeper could punch it away. The Argonauts tried to equalize in the 38th minute, but Epplette was able to grab Hunter Le Blanc's shot to keep BYU-Hawaii in front at the break.

NDNU earned three corners in the first 10 minutes of the second half, and all found Argonaut heads, but Epplette again repelled the attack to keep the Seasiders in front. Mason Reid and Brody Berry combined for some beautiful ball movement on a BYU-Hawaii counter and Berry's pass found McRae again in the middle of the box where he finished the left of the keeper for a 2-0 Seasider lead.

NDNU looked like it would cut the lead back to one, but Jershon Baldomero was able to clear a Glenn Gomez shot from the goal line. The Argonauts consistent pressure earned them a free kick in the 85th minute and Berumen finished with a curling ball over the wall to the near post. BYU-Hawaii held off the late pressure and did not allow the Argonauts another shot to preserve the victory.

The Seasiders return to the pitch on Saturday to take on Fresno Pacific at 3 p.m. HST. Live stats will be available online.

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