Women's Soccer Blog

Week 1 Review (Aug. 14-20)

Aug 25, 2016 - Posted by Jack Urquhart at 11:52 am | Updated: August 25, 2016 5:52 pm | Permalink

PROVO, Utah – A much-aniticipated first week of action was punctuated by BYU's 2-1 win in double overtime at Washington State. Leading up to the game, the Cougars were featured in interviews and articles as they made their final preparations for play.

Here's the Pac-12 Network's highlights from BYU's season-opening win:

With two goals on the night, senior forward Ashley Hatch moved alone into ninth place on the BYU all-time scoring list with 30 career goals. MAC Hermann Trophy candidate Nadia Gomes assisted on the game-winner.

A couple of Cougars got national recognition leading up to the first days of games. Senior Rachel Boaz was mentioned as one of the five toughest goalkeepers to beat by the NCAA. Midfielder Elena Medeiros, also a senior, received Top Drawer Soccer Best XI honors.

Greg Wrubell hosted his first Facebook Live chat with head coach Jennifer Rockwood, along with captains Michele Vasconcelos and Taylor Campbell Isom.

BYUtv produced a promo video for BYU's home opener against Nebraska.

The Salt Lake Tribune and Daily Herald previewed the 2016 season.

BYU opened the season ranked No. 16 in the NSCAA Poll and was picked to win the WCC for the fifth-straight season and had four players (Hatch, Gomes, Vasconcelos and Medeiros) named to the All-WCC Preseason Team.

Rachel Boaz mentioned among toughest goalkeepers to beat in 2016

Aug 17, 2016 - Posted by Jack Urquhart at 10:03 am | Updated: August 17, 2016 10:09 am | Permalink

The NCAA published a list on its website of the five toughest goalkeepers to beat in women's soccer, and BYU's Rachel Boaz made the cut.

A senior, Boaz helped BYU to 14 shutouts last season, the second-most in program history (15 in 2008). Her save percentage of .907 and goals against average of 0.39 in 2015 are the best in program history by a wide margin. Her 78 saves last season are the second-most in a single season since Dana Wood's 89 saves in 1995.

Mentioned along with Boaz are two MAC Hermann Trophy candidates in Stanford's Jane Campbell and Clemson's Kailen Sheridan. Penn State's Rose Chandler, who the Cougars will face on Aug. 26 is also on the list, with Casey Murphy of Rutgers rounding out the group.

For the article, visit NCAA.com.

Freshman Quick Kicks: Lizzy Braby and Elise Flake

Aug 02, 2016 - Posted by Jack Urquhart at 3:30 pm | Updated: August 2, 2016 3:32 pm | Permalink

PROVO, Utah – A pair of club teammates joins the BYU women's soccer family this fall in midfielder Lizzy Braby and Elise Flake.

Braby, a midfielder from Murray, Utah, followed up successful high school and club careers by playing with the U.S. Under-19 Women's National Team in New Zealand this summer. She appeared as a substitute in three games against the host country.

"I think the most rewarding thing was the learning experience," she said of the experience. "I learned a lot about the player I am and also the player I want to become. It gave me motivation to work even harder."

At Murray High School, Braby was a team captain twice and was named to the 4A All-State First Team in 2015 by both the Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune. For her club team, Utah Celtic FC, Braby and company were 2015 Utah State Cup Champions and regional finalists.

Playing alongside Braby for Utah Celtic FC was Flake, a forward from Mapleton, Utah.

Flake was a four-time Olympic Develop Program team selection from Utah. She was also a high school captain, at Maple Mountain High School. Shortly before coming to BYU, Flake scored three second-half goals in a comeback win in a regional preliminary club game to help her team to a 4-3 comeback win.

Becoming a BYU Cougar was an easy decision for Flake.

"It's been a dream of mine to come to BYU, both for soccer and school," she said. "It's all I've ever wanted."

Freshman Quick Kicks: Danika Bowman

Aug 01, 2016 - Posted by Jack Urquhart at 1:24 pm | Updated: August 1, 2016 2:11 pm | Permalink

PROVO – Remembering previous team titles is a tough counting exercise for Danika Bowman.

"I think four national titles, a few regional titles, a few state titles," she said. "I think."

The freshman defender, who is from Redlands, California, stacked up quite a list of accomplishments before coming to BYU. Bowman played on Olympic development championship teams, leading as a captain. She was named high school MVP and defensive MVP in back-to-back years. She played at national camp before high school. The list goes on and on.

Bowman knows, however, that success won't come right away at BYU. 

"It's just a way different thing," she said. "There are so many good players and competition for playing time here. Club was tough, but you get comfortable with your coaches and teammates. Here, you start over. It was good to have the summer to get used to it."

Something that has helped her get used to things is spending time with other players on the team.

"They've all been so nice to us," Bowman said. "They have us over to dinner and talk to us and help us all the time."

Bowman becomes the fourth member on this year's roster from California, and the only player of the incoming four freshmen not from Utah. She's thankful to her parents, for helping her to accomplish what she has.

"They made a lot of sacrifices to help me be on a good team and travel," she said.

Freshman Quick Kicks: Brynlee Welch

Aug 01, 2016 - Posted by Jack Urquhart at 12:50 pm | Updated: August 1, 2016 2:12 pm | Permalink

PROVO – Brynlee Welch doubts she's the fastest player on the team.

"But I think it would be fun to race," she said.

Welch, an incoming freshman from Hyrum, Utah, ran track at Mountain Crest High School, running the 100 meters and anchoring the 4x100 meter team at the state meet.

"My speed has set me apart from other players at times," Welch said. "If I get beat, I have confidence that I can get back. On a long ball, I'm usually the first person back."

The third player ever to hail from Cache Valley for BYU, Welch is the second in two years, after sophomore Madie Siddoway. Like Siddoway, Welch played for the club team La Roca.

It wasn't clear that Welch would get offered to play with the Cougars.

"I got offered a year later than most girls do," she said. "But my club and club coach are the reason I was able to get offered and come here."

Welch is the first member of her family to come to BYU.

"We were an Aggie family," she said. "I'm kind of starting something new."

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.”