Blue ties White in opening scrimmage

(Photo by BYU Photo/Mark Philbrick)

The No. 6 ranked BYU women's soccer team scrimmaged to open its season on Tuesday night at South Field. The White and Blue teams tied 1-1 in two 35 minute halves of soccer.

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Cloee Colohan tied the game for the White team early in the second half off a set piece 10 yards outside the box. She beat the keeper to the far post and knotted the game in the 41st minute.

Colette Jepson Smith had given the Blue team the lead in the first half. Jepson Smith ran onto a pass from Paige Hunt narrowly beating a defender to it before ducking inside and firing it past the keeper. The 26th minute goal was just one of eight shots in the first half. The White team only managed one.

"We're real excited about the possibilities of this team," BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. "Blue/White is a chance for the girls to really get out and put more pressure on them. You come out in these games and the nerves are going and everyone wants to perform well, there's a lot on the line, people are trying to earn minutes and earn a starting spot."

The two sides played a closer second half with shots nearly even, although Katherine Snyder made four more saves than Hannah Clark, including a diving stop of a Jepson Smith free kick from the top of the box. Jepson Smith's low liner to the near post was grabbed by a diving Snyder before it had a chance to get into the net. 

The scrimmage was above all a chance to see how everyone competed for 70 minutes with the teammates they were paired with. Some stood out for their play and their effort.

"Colette's goal was nice," Rockwood said. "Ashley Hatch caused a lot of chaos as a front runner with great speed. Obviously Cloee's set piece, she's been working on those, we'll rely on her a lot for that, but that was a fantastic shot."

The biggest loss from last season was the defenders on the backline. Paige Hunt and Annie Amos look to be major pieces there, but that doesn't mean there aren't other question marks.

"We have a whole new backline," Rockwood said. "They've been working hard. They know there's a lot of pressure on them. I think they'll come together really well. We've got a lot of work ahead of us, but I really feel like we've got a great place to start."

The next work ahead for the Cougars is an international friendly against the Haiti women's national team this Friday at 7 p.m. at South Field.