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.