This season the BYU Cougars will play a loaded nonconference schedule before defending its consecutive West Coast Conference championships. The Cougars will face 14 teams who won half or more of their games last season and will play five teams who won either a share of a regular season title or a conference tournament title. Below are recaps of each team's performance last season and information on this year's team.
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at Cal State Fullerton (8-7-7, 3-3-2)
Aug. 22, 7 p.m. PDT
The Titans won twice in penalty kicks in the Big West Tournament to make the NCAA tournament in 2013. They drew Stanford and fell 1-0 in the first round. Senior midfielder Chelsey Patterson made the Preseason Big West All-Conference Team. Patterson has started all but six games in her career. Cal State Fullerton traveled to Provo to open the season in Provo as they fell to the Cougars 3-1.
Washington State (14-3-4, 7-3-1) NSCAA #26, CollegeSportsMadness.com #24
Aug. 25, 5:30 p.m. MDT
A five-game winning streak helped move the Cougars into second place in the Pac-12 last season. Washington State lost to Illinois in penalty kicks in the first round of the NCAA tournament before USC hired away head coach Keidane McAlpine. The Cougars replaced him with UNC Greensboro head coach Steve Nugent. Washington State lost forward Micaela Castain who scored as many goals as the Cougars gave up all of last season – 11.
at Tennessee (8-7-4, 3-5-3) CSM #41
Aug. 29, 7 p.m. EDT
The Volunteers finished with their fourth consecutive winning season in 2013, but finished just outside the SEC tournament field and missed out on the NCAA tournament. Tennessee will pair senior goalkeeper Julie Eckel and senior forward and MAC Hermann Trophy nominee Hannah Wilkinson with 14 new players including transfers from Miami and Florida State to try to get back to the NCAA tournament for the third time in four years. Carlyn Baldwin will play for the U.S. in the U-20 Women's World Cup in Canada prior to the season.
Baylor (11-6-3, 3-4-1) CSM #28
Labor Day, Sept. 1, 1 p.m. MDT
Despite a six-game winless streak in the middle of their conference season, the Bears recovered to make it to the Big 12 semifinals, but missed out on an NCAA tournament bid a year after making it to the Sweet 16. Baylor shut out opponents in 13 of its 20 games last season and return senior goalkeeper Michelle Kloss along with leading goal scorer and assist maker Bri Campos. The Bear's only non-conference loss in 2013 came at home against BYU 2-1.
at Utah (10-5-6, 6-3-2) CSM #42
Sept. 5, 5 p.m. MDT
The Utes won on the final day of Pac-12 play to finish in third place, which earned them a date at SEC champion Texas A&M in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The Utes held national champion UCLA to a 1-1 draw in Salt Lake last season and return nine starters for this season. Ashley Hatch's penalty kick gave the Cougars a 1-0 victory over Utah last season in Provo.
LSU (9-9-2, 5-5-1) NSCAA #35
Sept. 11, 6 p.m. MDT
The Tigers went unbeaten in their first six SEC matches last year, before finishing winless in their final six. LSU has signed four international players the past two seasons and have players from New Zealand, Mexico, Canada and England on the roster. The Tigers will have four players who will participate in the U-20 Women's World Cup in Canada prior to the season. Left back Megan Lee and goalkeeper Lily Alfeld play for New Zealand, while Emma Fletcher and Jordane Carvery play for Canada. The Cougars traveled to LSU and scored the final three goals to come away with a 4-2 victory on Labor Day in 2013.
Long Beach State (8-7-3, 2-3-3)
Sept. 13, 7 p.m. MDT
The 49ers lost on the final day of the season to miss out on the Big West Conference tournament. They finished with a winning record after playing three major conference teams and going 3-1 against WCC opponents, including a 1-0 home victory over BYU in September. This season, senior defender Taylor Nelson and sophomore midfielder Mimi Rangel were selected to the Preseason Big West All-Conference Team. Rangel was the conference's Freshman of the Year last season.
Oregon (4-12-3, 2-8-1)
Sept. 18, 7 p.m. MDT
The Ducks brought up the rear in the Pac-12 last season, but played much better at home than on the road. Oregon also only graduated three seniors and return every goal scorer and all but one assist. Goalkeeper Abby Steele allowed just over one goal a game and recorded five shutouts, despite the team only winning four games. Oregon was picked to finish ahead of Oregon State by the Pac-12 coaches this season.
Colorado College (15-4-3, 8-1-1) CSM #43
Sept. 20, TBA
The Tigers made the NCAA tournament for the 11th time in program history last season out of C-USA and took Duke to a shootout before losing. Colorado College makes the move to the Mountain West Conference for the 2014 season. The Tigers return a bulk of their offense, but three defenders and its goalkeeper graduated which could make for some high-scoring affairs early on. Midfielder Jessie Ayers is a MAC Hermann Trophy nominee for the second straight season after scoring 13 goals and recording 27 points. She also trained with the U-23 U.S. National Team this past June.
at Denver (18-2-1, 7-0-0) NSCAA #25, CSM #27
Sept. 25, 7 p.m. MDT
In its first season in the Summit League, Denver ran through the competition, only allowing a goal against North Dakota State and averaging almost four goals per game. The Pioneers played a tough nonconference schedule, losing on the road to Big Ten champion Nebraska, but defeating BYU in Provo 1-0. The Pioneers lost eight seniors including players who scored half the team's goals from last season.
at SMU (9-9-1, 3-5-1)
Sept. 27, TBA
The Mustangs made it to the quarterfinals in the inaugural American Athletic Conference tournament, but were never able to piece together more than two wins at a time in 2013. SMU will have 10 upperclassmen returning in addition to three sophomores who played in almost every game last season.
at San Diego (12-8-0, 5-4-0)
Oct. 3, 7:30 p.m. PDT
The Toreros finished tied for fourth with Pepperdine in the WCC last season. They did manage a positive goal differential. Every team San Diego faced that made the NCAA tournament last season the Toreros faced on the road, meaning this year they should have a much better chance at home against the three defending conference champs BYU, Santa Clara and Portland as well as their nonconference opponents.
Portland (17-3-1, 8-1-0) NSCAA #11, CSM #16
Oct. 9, 6 p.m. MDT
The Pilots split the WCC crown with BYU and Santa Clara as the three teams couldn't separate themselves. Portland lost to Illinois 4-3 in overtime in the second round of the NCAA tournament in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Pilots lost Amanda Frisbie and Ellen Parker to the NWSL along with goalkeeper Erin Dees and forward Micaela Capelle to graduation. Those four accounted for 7.5 shutouts, 24 goals and 12 assists, as well as 13 game-winning goals.
Gonzaga (7-11-1, 3-6-0)
Oct. 11, 7 p.m. MDT
The Bulldogs only lost two seniors from the 2013 season and this year can field a team entirely of upperclassmen if coach Amy Edwards wanted to. The two leading scorers and three assist leaders all return for 2014 along with goalkeeper Christie Tombari. The Cougars escaped Spokane with a 1-0 victory after a first half goal from Marissa Nimmer in 2013.
at LMU (3-16-1, 0-8-1)
Oct. 18, 7 p.m. PDT
After a three-game winning streak in late August and early September, the Lions didn't win again for the rest of the season. LMU head coach Michelle Myers brought in 14 new players, including two transfers, to turn the ship around. The Cougars won 2-0 in Provo last year.
Santa Clara (16-4-2, 8-1-0) NSCAA #10, CSM #9
Oct. 23, 7 p.m. MDT
The Broncos couldn't win on the road at Portland for the outright conference title and split it three ways. Santa Clara did make it the furthest in the NCAA tournament, reaching the third round before losing in overtime to Virginia Tech. The Broncos lost eight seniors including two All-Americans, but Sofia Huerta will try to keep the Santa Clara attack from falling behind its pace from a season ago. Huerta is a MAC Hermann Trophy nominee after scoring 16 goals and 40 points a season ago.
San Francisco (6-10-4, 1-6-2)
Oct. 25, 7 p.m. MDT
The Dons had a winning record at home last season, but could only find one win on the road. San Francisco has added seven players including a transfer from Washington in hopes of having more success away from home. BYU beat the Dons 2-0 last season as head coach Jennifer Rockwood won her 300th game.
at Saint Mary's (6-14-0, 2-7-0)
Oct. 30, 3 p.m. PDT
The Gaels lost leading scorer Briana Campos and have added eight freshmen including Juliana Los from New Zealand and sister of SMC basketball player Steve Holt, Ilyssa Holt. BYU won 6-1 over Saint Mary's on Senior Day in Provo last season.
at Pacific (4-12-3, 3-5-1)
Nov. 1, 7 p.m. MDT
In its first season in the WCC, Pacific finished in sixth place as the Tigers won three games in conference play after only winning one during its nonconference schedule. Pacific lost its top three scorers, but sophomore forward Alex Hussar returns to lead the offense. After Pacific scored first, BYU won 3-1 in Provo last year.
at Pepperdine (10-7-2, 5-4-0)
Nov. 8, 1 p.m. PST
The Waves tied for fourth with San Diego a year after making the NCAA tournament. The Waves have quite the schedule this season as they host North Carolina in August and face defending national champion UCLA in Hawaii the first week of September. The Waves were held scoreless as BYU won 1-0 in Provo last season. Pepperdine's Taylor Alvarado played for Mexico in the U-20 Women's World Cup in Canada. Lynn Williams is a MAC Hermann Trophy nominee after scoring 11 goals a year ago.