Women's Soccer Blog

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

Lindsi Cutshall re-signs with Sky Blue FC

Nov 17, 2014 - Posted by knielsen at 11:43 am | Updated: November 17, 2014 11:44 am | Permalink

MORRISTOWN, N.J. – Former Cougar Lindsi Cutshall re-signed with Sky Blue FC of the NWSL where she has played the last two seasons since being drafted fourth overall in January of 2013.

Cutshall started in 11 of the 14 games she played this season and scored three goals on just five shots from her central defender position. Cutshall played eight games her rookie season at Sky Blue FC when the team went 10-6-6 to make the playoffs. 

"All players take a full season to adjust to the level of play in the NWSL, and Lindsi has reached that point,” Sky Blue FC head coach and technical director Jim Gabarra said. “Our expectations are for her to have a breakout season in 2015.”

The NWSL season will begin in March and take a two-week break for the Women's World Cup in June.

Cutshall helped lead BYU to the Elite Eight in 2012 as she became the first MAC Hermann Trophy Semifinalist in BYU history. That year BYU went 20-2-2 and were unbeaten in 20 straight games before falling in the second overtime to North Carolina in the NCAA tournament. Cutshall scored three goals and made two assists in addition to playing the most minutes in a season by a Cougar in the past seven seasons.

For more information, read Sky Blue FC's release.

Six Cougars receive postseason awards from CollegeSportsMadness.com

Nov 10, 2014 - Posted by knielsen at 9:51 am | Updated: December 1, 2014 3:14 pm | Permalink

PROVO, Utah – Sophomore forward Ashley Hatch was named to CollegeSportsMadness.com's All-America Second Team, while four other Cougars and head coach Jennifer Rockwood were honored on the website's All-Conference teams.

Hatch was one of four forwards on the All-America Second Team. She finished with 18 goals and six assists on the season and is currently tied for sixth in the nation in total goals and eighth in total points.

Rockwood was named Coach of the Year in the West Coast Conference by CollegeSportsMadness.com, while Hatch, sophomore midfielder Elena Medeiros and sophomore foward Michele Murphy each made the WCC First Team. Medeiros finished the season with five goals and seven assists and started every game, while Murphy started all but one and recorded six goals and six assists. 

Senior defender Annie Amos and senior forward Niki Fernandes were selected to the WCC Second Team. Amos played every second so far this season as the only returning starter on a defense that finished with 10 shutouts. Fernandes finished with five goals and seven assists after receiving a sixth year of eligibility.

CollegeSportsMadness.com All-America Teams

CollegeSportsMadness.com All-WCC Honors

Women's soccer alumni shining in local high school playoffs

Oct 22, 2014 - Posted by Norma Collett at 3:58 pm | Permalink

When the Utah girl's soccer state championships in 4A and 5A take place on Saturday, both teams will have something in common. Each team has a head coach or an assistant coach that is a BYU women's soccer alum.

You can go support BYU alumni at the local high school championships during the day on Saturday and then that night come support the current BYU women's soccer team. The No. 17 Cougars will play their final WCC game at home hosting San Francisco at 7 p.m. At the beginning of the match, seniors Annie Amos, Niki Fernandes, Katherine Snyder and Jaiden Thornock will be honored. Junior Hilary Kaufusi will also be honored along with the seniors.

Entering this week's action, BYU is riding a nine-game winning streak and is on top of the WCC standings with a perfect 4-0 mark. The team hosts WCC foe Santa Clara on Thursday night at 7 p.m.

Last Week in Review: The Hat-ch Trick

Oct 15, 2014 - Posted by knielsen at 11:49 am | Updated: October 15, 2014 11:54 am | Permalink

It's been one month since the Cougars lost, three weeks since Ashley Hatch hadn't scored, one week since an opponent put the ball in the net and a calendar year since BYU dropped a WCC game.

Ashley Hatch had a game to remember last Thursday against Portland. She scored the first BYU hat trick in nine years, which was also the 17th hat trick in program history. She earned several honors for her three goals and also her assist against Gonzaga. 

Hatch is:

ESPNW's Soccer Player of the Week

WCC Player of the Week for the second time in three weeks and third time in her career

CollegeSportsMadness.com's WCC Player of the Week for the second time this year

CollegeSoccer360 Primetime Performer for the first time.

and No. 4 on Top Play Tuesday

Along with the team's eight-game regular season win streak and 10-game WCC win streak, the Cougars jumped four spots to 19th in the NSCAA coaches pollElena Medeiros scored her first goal at home this season and Michele Murphy added another goal against Gonzaga, while goalkeeper Katherine Snyder ran her shutout streak to two games on Saturday against Gonzaga.

 

BYUtv's Portland Game Recap

 

BYUtv's Gonzaga Game Recap

Last Week in Review

Sep 23, 2014 - Posted by knielsen at 11:07 am | Updated: September 23, 2014 11:48 am | Permalink

Week in Review

Two wins, six goals, a College Goal of the Week candidate, two BYUtv Sports Nation visits and the first batch of RPI rankings all happened last week. Catch up on it below.

Initial NCAA RPI released with BYU at 49

Don't forget to vote for Madie Lyons' birthday goal for Top Drawer Soccer's College Goal of the Week, voting continues through Wednesday at 1 p.m.

BYU 4, Colorado College 0

Watch all four goals on TheW.tv replay.

Fernandes' brace helps BYU roll Colorado College KSL.com

BYU 2, Oregon 1

BYUtv postgame recap

 

BYU vs. Oregon Highlights

Lyons' birthday goal gives BYU 2-1 win over Oregon KSL.com

BYU uses birthday goal by Lyons to beat Oregon Daily Herald

BYU Sports Nation w/ Ashley Hatch

BYU Sports Nation w/ Niki Fernandes