Women's Soccer Blog

BYU's next three opponents have seen South Field at its finest

Aug 27, 2015 - Posted by knielsen at 12:15 pm | Updated: August 27, 2015 12:57 pm | Permalink

PROVO, Utah – BYU women’s soccer's next three opponents all have one thing in common, they have been the opponents for the attendance record at South Field for eight of the past nine years.

Friday’s opponent, Colorado, came to Provo in 2006 as the 21st ranked team in the nation and became the first opponent to play in front of 4,000 fans at South Field. The 4,742 fans saw the 18th ranked Cougars win 3-2 and broke the previous South Field attendance record by nearly 1,000 fans.

Six years later, No. 6 Penn State played in front of 4,922 BYU fans as the Cougars built up momentum for their 2012 Elite 8 run. 

The following season in the second home game, Monday’s opponent, Nebraska came to Provo the final day of August. The Cornhuskers faced off against the No. 6 Cougars in front of a new record of 5,108. It is still the 24th best attended NCAA regular season game in NCAA history. It was also the first time 5,000 fans packed South Field. BYU won 3-0 and also recorded the 100th shutout at home in program history.

A week later, rival Utah, BYU’s Sept. 4 opponent, returned to South Field once again to face No. 6 BYU. The crowd reached 5,402 spectators and an 88th minute penalty kick gave the Cougars the victory. That record has stood ever since and is the 15th best attended regular season match in NCAA history.

As a rivalry, Utah and BYU is one of the top attendance draws in the nation. The past three games (two in Salt Lake City and one in Provo) have set the attendance records for the home team. Only six other rivalries have drawn 5,000 fans to a game in the regular season. The 2013 crowd for BYU-Utah is behind three USC vs. UCLA games played in the LA Coliseum and a Texas A&M vs. Texas game played in Austin. Only one campus facility in the nation has hosted a rivalry game which drew more fans than South Field did in 2013.

The other rivalries to draw 5,000 fans include UNC vs. Duke, Portland vs. Santa Clara and BYU vs. Portland. Both Portland games were held at Merlo Field.

Preseason Recap

Aug 21, 2015 - Posted by knielsen at 12:10 am | Updated: August 21, 2015 11:16 am | Permalink

Meet the Freshmen

Aug 20, 2015 - Posted by knielsen at 11:59 pm | Permalink

If you haven't already, get to know the 2015 freshmen with the signing class release along with what's new with them now that they're on campus for the 2015 season.

Cassidy Smith

Sabrina Macias

Madie Siddoway

Brianna Hatch

2015 Signing Class

Freshman Quick Kicks: Brianna Hatch

Aug 19, 2015 - Posted by knielsen at 11:19 am | Updated: August 19, 2015 3:41 pm | Permalink

PROVO, Utah – Freshman Brianna Hatch certainly has the name value that comes with having a highly visible older sister, Ashley. Even though Brianna has followed Ashley to Provo, she’s done it in her own way.

The jumping off point would be the Arizona State Playoffs last winter. Her Highland High soccer team was in the state semifinals. Hatch scored a game-winning goal in the first period of overtime to send Highland to the state title. 

Not four days later overtime came and almost went. Hatch found the back of the net with 6.4 seconds left before a shootout would have been required. The championship goal wasn’t as interesting as the time was though.

“The thing I remember most was there were only 6.4 seconds left in the game,” Hatch said. “I scored and they were like ‘There’s only 6.4 seconds left Bri’ and I was ‘Yeah right’ and then I looked at the clock. It was pretty crazy.”

The two goals came four days apart and were “probably the two best moments I had in my life.”

The state championship does give her a little edge on her older sister.

“I do feel like my high school career was better than hers,” Brianna said. “Ashley did win a state championship, but I won two.”

Brianna is used to following Ashley, but has had two years to find her own way while Ashley has been in Provo. Brianna verbally committed to the Cougars the summer before her junior year, which was the first month of Ashley’s time in Provo.

“I’ve just been working even harder, especially since Ashley has been gone,” Brianna said. “I’ve been working harder on my own. I’ve tried playing with guys as much as I could to make me better.”

Now that Brianna is back alongside Ashley the comparisons will return, but she’s ready for them.

“I guess there’s a little pressure, but it gives me more fuel to fire up and just be better and try to be better than her. 

“That would be sweet.”

Freshman Quick Kicks: Madie Siddoway

Aug 19, 2015 - Posted by knielsen at 10:39 am | Updated: August 19, 2015 10:48 am | Permalink

PROVO, Utah – Freshman midfielder Madie Siddoway was able to close out her club soccer experience the way she wanted to before arriving in Provo for her debut season with the Cougars.

Siddoway and her La Roca teammates had the opportunity to reach their dream goal, the US Youth Soccer Club National Championships. They were one of eight teams in the nation to qualify by winning at regionals in Boise, Idaho, to advance to nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the last week in July. La Roca won its group and advanced to the semifinals. 

“Playing at nationals was an amazing experience,” Siddoway said. “We had never been there before, but that had always been the dream to be there. It was a phenomenal experience to play with teams of that caliber at the youth level.

“It was amazing to go out like that for sure. That’s what we had wanted and had worked for, so it was a great experience for the team.” 

For a soccer player from Utah, Siddoway hasn’t taken the usual route to Provo. The majority of players from Utah high schools come from Salt Lake, Davis, Weber or Utah counties. Siddoway is only the second Cougar to hail from Cache Valley. She played club soccer in Cache County originally before taking up with La Roca.

“Ever since I was young and played in Cache Valley, I had dreamed of coming to BYU because they have such a great soccer program and are a great school,” Siddoway said. “Club in Cache Valley helped me get there and La Roca helped med get there. 

“Another inspiration to me was Cami Jensen. She was a great mentor for me, we were both from Logan and we’re the only players to come from Cache Valley down to BYU. Ever since I was young, I had dreamed of playing here and it's amazing to be here finally.”

Freshman Quick Kicks: Cassidy Smith

Aug 11, 2015 - Posted by knielsen at 10:12 am | Permalink

PROVO, Utah – BYU freshman goalkeeper Cassidy Smith had a little more competition growing up than most young soccer players. As one of three triplets, she had to make sure she was playing the position she wanted.

“I remember our first rec game and my sister was chosen to play goal,” Smith said. “I begged her for it and I’ve kept playing it I liked it so much.

“It looked like such an important position, so when I was little I was like ‘Give me the most important spot.’”

She played for Lone Peak High School in Alpine, Utah, and was named Ms. Utah Soccer by the Deseret News and to two All-West Region teams along with an Academic All-State honor.

Growing up just up the road from Provo, Smith is ready to start having those experiences that come with playing Division I soccer at BYU.

“I’m looking forward to starting games,” Smith said. “Getting to be on South Field with the team, feeling some energy and excitement, that’s been a dream since I was little. I’m just excited to get started.”

The wait has been almost a decade if not longer.

“I’ve wanted to come since I was 8 years old and started soccer,” she said. “It started out in cubs camps, I’d come with all my friends and as I got older I got more intense obviously.”

Freshman Quick Kicks: Sabrina Macias

Aug 10, 2015 - Posted by knielsen at 5:04 pm | Permalink

PROVO, Utah – BYU freshman goalkeeper Sabrina Macias isn’t going to be as unique on this year’s BYU team as she has been growing up, but she will be having a year unlike most.

“I’ve grown up and always been the only member (of the church) on the team,” Macias said. “It was hard to find people with the same values as you. Being here is awesome because I’m around girls that have the same values as me.

“That’s what I’m looking forward to – the spiritual aspect.”

Having more in common with her teammates is a plus, but she probably won’t be suiting up for a full practice any time soon as she recovers from an offseason surgery.

“Mentally, it’s pretty tough, but at the same time I’ve already had two surgeries and I’ve overcome both those and come back stronger,” Macias said. “Coach said he wants me around the goalkeepers (at practice). I wouldn’t say it’s an advantage, but I know what to expect with coach, so it gives me hope to know what I need to do and what I need to look forward to when I’m about to start playing again.”

Her time as an observer will hopefully be well spent as have been her invitations to youth national team camps for the United States. While representing her country was nice, the extra training was better.

“It’s really competitive,” Macias said. “You’re surrounded by girls who are at the same level you are. Every camp I went to they taught me something new every time I was there. What’s so cool about it, is playing for your country, but what’s better is you’re developing as a player and that’s probably what I loved the most when I was at camp.”

Macias joins Ashley Hatch, Nadia Gomes and Carla Swensen as Cougars who have youth national team experience with the U.S., Portugal and Colombia, respectively.

This week, Macias was named to the TopDrawerSoccer.com Preseason Freshman Team, even though she won’t be competing this year. For the full release visit TopDrawerSoccer.com.

Hatch and Hunt named to Preseason Award Shortlist

Jul 27, 2015 - Posted by knielsen at 10:15 am | Permalink

Junior forward Ashley Hatch and junior defender Paige Hunt were named to the 2015 AllWhiteKit.com College Soccer Award Preseason Award Shortlist. Hunt was named to the Defender of the Year shortlist, while Hatch was named to the Forward of the Year shortlist.

Hunt was an NSCAA All-West Region Second Team selection and started every game at center back for the Cougars before leaving to serve in the Indianapolis, Indiana mission. She scored a goal and made two assists from the backline in 2013.

Hatch scored 18 goals and made six assists during her sophomore campaign where she was named West Coast Conference Player of the Year in 2015. Last year, she had a top five season in BYU history in goals, shots and points. Her five multiple goal games were the second most in a season in BYU history and her hat trick against Portland was the first at BYU in nine years. She was also top 10 nationally in goals and points per game and total goals.

BYU opponents who also made the shortlist includes six goalkeepers, five defenders, four midfielders and three forwards. For the full shortlists, visit AllWhiteKit.com

Hatch chosen as breakout star in 2015 by DI coaches

Jul 10, 2015 - Posted by knielsen at 10:12 am | Permalink

In a survey of Division I coaches done by TopDrawerSoccer.com’s J.R. Eskilson, Ashley Hatch was one of eight players to be chosen as a breakout star this season. 

The junior forward scored 18 goals and made six assists during her sophomore campaign where she was named West Coast Conference Player of the Year. Last year, she had a top five season in BYU history in goals, shots and points. Her five multiple goal games were the second most in a season in BYU history and her hat trick against Portland was the first at BYU in nine years. She was also top 10 nationally in goals and points per game and total goals.

Hatch was named one of the top 10 forwards in the nation by TopDrawerSoccer.com earlier this summer. To see the other results of the survey, read the whole story at TopDrawerSoccer.com.

Cutshall begins third season for NWSL's Sky Blue FC

Apr 20, 2015 - Posted by knielsen at 12:58 pm | Updated: April 21, 2015 11:38 am | Permalink

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – In the third year of the National Women’s Soccer League and in her third year as a professional soccer player, former Cougar Lindsi Cutshall is moving into an important position on the backline for Sky Blue FC.

Cutshall has made the transition from the college game to the professional ranks over the past two seasons, going from playing in seven games and starting one to playing in 14 games and starting 11 while scoring three goals on five shots, including two game-winners. So far this year she has started both games as Sky Blue has a win and a draw.

She will be counted on even more this season as fellow defender Christie Rampone and teammate Kelly O’Hara will be leaving for the early and middle part of the season to prepare and play in the Women’s World Cup this summer. Sky Blue FC may be without up to six players who will be on their national team rosters this summer.

While that isn’t uncommon across the league, the threat of losing Sky Blue’s momentum dating back to last season could be a concern.

“We’ve come a long ways,” Cutshall said. “I think we’re definitely progressing in the right direction.”

Sky Blue FC finished the 2014 season on a four-match win streak and are currently on a six-match unbeaten streak dating back to last year. Sky Blue missed the playoffs by one point behind Chicago and Washington.

With her time in the league, Cutshall is now helping along teammates in getting accustomed to the professional game. Sky Blue defender Kristin Grubka, member of Florida State’s national champions last season, credits Cutshall with helping her in getting up to pace and handling the change in moving from college.

Cutshall and Sky Blue FC hope to return to the playoffs, which they qualified for during the 2013 season going 10-6-6. Their next game is Sunday, April 26 at 6 p.m. EDT against the Washington Spirit. Every NWSL game will be streamed on YouTube this season and nationally-televised matches will be announced at a later date.

Sky Blue FC vs. Houston Highlights

Sky Blue FC vs. FC Kansas City Highlights

Sky Blue FC 2015 Preview