(Photo by BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)
In front of a record crowd, the No. 6 BYU women’s soccer team recorded its 100th home shutout in team history with a 3-0 victory over Nebraska Saturday night at South Field.
“Nebraska is a dangerous offensive team and showed us a style of play that we haven’t seen in a while,” head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. “It’s tough when you have four or five girls coming like Nebraska was throwing at us but our defense played really well.”
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The Cougars had three goals from three different players to the delight of a South FIeld record 5,108 fans.
“It’s huge, it makes your adrenaline ten times what it normally is,” midfielder Cloee Colohan said, regarding the historic crowd. “They give us so much energy and confidence.”
BYU broke through in the 41st minute when freshman Elena Medeiros scored her first career goal. Medeiros finished a cross from forward Niki Fernandes with a header that beat the Nebraska goalkeeper Emma Stevens in the near corner of the goal. Medeiros was credited with an assist on her own goal as she fed the entry pass to Fernandes.
“It’s so exciting because once you get the first it just keeps going from there,” Medeiros said. “Hopefully I can build on this and keep getting better and better. “
Fernandes continued to put pressure on the right side, drawing a foul in the 52nd minute that turned into a free kick for Colette Jepson Smith just outside the box. Jepson Smith’s cross was headed by Colohan past the keeper to give the Cougars a 2-0 lead. It was Colohan’s first goal of the season.
The Cougars scored their third goal in the 86th minute when Kyleigh Royall played a ball into the box that sophomore Marissa Nimmer put away, her first goal of the season.
BYU had a chance to score on a penalty kick by Rachel Manning just two minutes into the second half, but Stevens made a diving save to her right and the ball was cleared by defender Ari Romero. The penalty had been set up when a cross from forward Colette Jepson Smith caught Romero’s hand inside the box.
BYU improved to 2-0-0 on the season. Saturday’s victory was the first shutout of the year for goalkeeper Erica Owens and the 13th of her career. Nebraska fell to 2-1-0.
The Cougars return to action on Monday, Sep. 2 when they travel to Louisiana State University to take on the Tigers. BYU hosts rival Utah on Friday, Sep. 6 at 7 pm in a Deseret Duel rivalry match.