Women's Soccer Blog | The Official Site of BYU Athletics

Women's Soccer Blog

Week 7 Review (Sept. 25-Oct 1)

Oct 05, 2016 - Posted by Jack Urquhart at 11:41 am | Permalink

PROVO, Utah – In a week with just one game, BYU jumped up to No. 3 in the polls and played what head coach Jennifer Rockwood said was its best game of the season.

Thursday's game with Santa Clara was hard-fought, as has been the case each time the two teams have met. The Broncos left Provo with a 0-0 tie as the Cougars improved their unbeaten streak to nine games. Despite not getting the win, Rockwood was satisfied with how her team played.

Before the game, the Daily Herald previewed the West Coast Conference season. After the tie, the Daily Herald and Deseret News published recaps.

Goalkeeper Hannah Clark notched her sixth shutout since filling in for injured teammate Rachel Boaz.

Week 6 Review (Sept. 18-24)

Sep 28, 2016 - Posted by Jack Urquhart at 1:24 pm | Updated: September 28, 2016 1:26 pm | Permalink

PROVO, Utah – For BYU, it was another week of local and national attention, with two wins at South Field for the Cougars.

BYU was ranked No. 4 by the NSCAA (coaches) poll, its highest ranking since 2012, when the Cougars eventually topped out at No. 2 in the nation. Top Drawer Soccer and the Hero Sports algorithm both placed BYU at No. 2 for the week.

On Thursday, the Cougars welcomed Denver for a rain-soaked game that was delayed by lightning at halftime. Play eventually resumed, and BYU's offensive barrage produced a 7-0 win. Goals were scored by Nadia Gomes (2), Ashley Hatch, Michele Vasconcelos, Elena Medeiros, Bizzy Phillips Bowen and Elise Flake. The late goal by Flake was the first for a Cougar freshman this season.

BYU Athletics put together a highlight reel.

Two days later, the Cougars were at it again, and played a hard-fought game against visiting Long Beach State. BYU broke through with a goal in the 85th minute on a connection from Jocelyn Loomis to Ashley Hatch. The 1-0 result increased the Cougars' win streak to eight games, which is tied for second-longest in the nation.

Again, BYU Athletics produced a video of highlights.

During the week, several stories were written about the team. Among those was a Fox 13 story on the team, two features (KSL and Salt Lake Tribune) on Vasconscelos and a Daily Universe feature on Taylor Isom and Danika Bowman. KSL recapped the Denver game while the Daily Herald covered the Long Beach State game.

Week 5 Review (Sept. 11-17)

Sep 19, 2016 - Posted by Jack Urquhart at 11:02 am | Updated: September 19, 2016 11:10 am | Permalink

PROVO, Utah – In two wins, BYU's trio of starting forwards each netted goals for the No. 6 Cougars as they beat No. 19 Ohio State 3-0 in Columbus, Ohio, on Monday, and Utah State 3-1 in Logan on Saturday.

Three polls—the NSCAA, Hero Sports and Top Drawer Soccer—all placed BYU at No. 6 at the beginning of the week.

The Deseret News previewed Monday's game with a feature on senior forward Ashley Hatch. The Salt Lake Tribune wrote a story about versatile junior forward Carla Swensen Haslam.

Following their win against the Buckeyes, the Cougars got some good ink from Ohio and national sources:

Ohio State's The Lantern

Soccer America

Head coach Jennifer Rockwood was on BYU Sports Nation to discuss the win and preview the game against the Aggies.

The Cougars punctuated their week with their sixth win in a row and 13th win in 13 games against Utah State.


Week 4 Review (Sept. 4-10)

Sep 12, 2016 - Posted by Jack Urquhart at 10:16 am | Updated: September 12, 2016 10:28 am | Permalink

PROVO, Utah – The Cougars made big jumps again in the rankings entering their fourth week of play, and they backed it up with two wins.

New polls came out in the first few days of the week, and BYU was ranked No. 7 by the NSCAA, No. 9 by Hero Sports and No. 15 by Top Drawer Soccer.

On Monday, the Cougars played at Utah in the Deseret First Duel, and won 2-0 behind goals from Taylor Isom and Ashley Hatch, and a the first career complete-game shutout from goalkeeper Hannah Clark. It was the first time BYU had beaten the Utes on their own field since 2010.

KSL, the Deseret News, the Daily Herald and the Salt Lake Tribune all covered the rivalry game.

The next day, Clark appeared on BYU Sports Nation. Greg Wrubell chatted with head coach Jennifer Rockwood and defender Danika Bowman via Facebook Live.

On Thursday, the Cougars returned to South Field, where they beat SMU 4-0 in their second-consecutive shutout and fourth-straight win. Paige Hunt Barker scored her first goal of the season, Michele Vasconcelos scored twice and Elena Medeiros had a goal for BYU.

BYU Athletics put together a video of the Cougars' highlights against the Mustangs.

Week 3 Review (Aug. 28-Sept. 3)

Sep 05, 2016 - Posted by Jack Urquhart at 8:05 pm | Permalink

PROVO, Utah – A win at No. 5 Penn State gave BYU confidence headed into its third week of the regular season. That showed as the Cougars erupted for five goals in a home win against Tennessee.

The week started in exciting fashion as BYU was ranked 10th in the NSCAA Poll that came out on Aug. 30. The game on Friday validated the Cougars' ranking as they scored a season-high five goals. Two came from Ashley Hatch, who increased her goal total to eight for the season. Michele Vasconcelos provided two more and Elena Medeiros also had one.

With the win against the Volunteers, BYU improved to 3-1 as it geared up for a quick turnaround at Utah on Sept. 5.

KSL previewed Friday's game with a focus on new starting goalkeeper Hannah Clark.

Elena Medeiros sat down with BYU Sports Nation on Monday. Ashley Hatch previewed the Tennessee game on Friday.

Week 2 Review (Aug. 21-27)

Aug 29, 2016 - Posted by Jack Urquhart at 5:50 pm | Permalink

PROVO, Utah – The second week of the regular season provided a disappointing loss, a landmark win and again, plenty of local and national attention for the BYU Cougars.

The team opened the week with attention from national polls, highlighted by the No. 14 ranking in the NSCAA poll. That, however, didn't reflect the team's disheartening loss on Monday at home, a 1-0 result against visiting Nebraska.

Following the loss, BYU was positive about the opportunity to hit the road to play the defending national champion, Penn State. Goalkeeper Rachel Boaz talked about that on BYU Sports Nation:

The Cougars stunned the No. 5 Nittany Lions, riding Ashley Hatch's second-career hat trick to a 3-2 win. Hatch scored the first two goals of the game and the game-winner. The result garnered attention nationally from the NCAA and locally from KSL.

Hatch continued her march through the program's record books, moving alone into seventh in career goals with 33, among other accomplishments. Three days after BYU's upset on the road, its leader in scoring was named WCC Player of the Week.

Week 1 Review (Aug. 14-20)

Aug 25, 2016 - Posted by Jack Urquhart at 11:52 am | Updated: August 29, 2016 5:35 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 are 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.