Cougar Women Travel To Las Vegas For MWC Championship, Are Favored To Win Crown

BYU(16-3-1, 6-0) picked up two wins on its final regular season road trip. This week its on the road again, this time to Las Vegas to defend their MWC Title. BYU is the number one seed in the tourney and plays the winner of Wednesday's UNLV vs Air Force game on Thursday, Nov. 2, at 7 p.m.

Last Week Recap

• In its final two regular season games, the Cougar women traveled to Arizona to play Minnesota and the University of Arizona. BYU picked up both road wins, a 2-0 shutout over the Golden Gophers and a 3-2 decision against the Wildcats.

•For the Cougars it was Jeni Willardson and Kim Lowe who provided the scoring in the Minnesota victory.

•Senior Sara Reading led the effort in the 3-2 win over Arizona with two goals and an assist. Jeni Willardson picked up her seventh goal of the season in the contest.

•BYU outshot its final two opponents 54-7.

Cougars Picked To Repeat as MWC Champions

BYU was selected as the favorite to capture its second straight conference title in a vote by the league's coaches.

Place Team (1st place votes) Points

1. BYU (5) 35

2. Utah (1) 31

3. San Diego State (1) 27

4. Air Force 21

5. New Mexico 14

6. UNLV 13

7. Wyoming 6

BYU In The Polls - Highest Ranking No. 9 By Soccer America

The Oct. 30 rankings from Soccer America show the Cougars at number 9, that is the highest ranking for the six-year Division I women's program.

• 10th in Soccer Times (as of 10/23/00)

• 9th in Soccer America (as of 10/30/00)

• 10th in NSCAA Coaches (as of 10/30/00)

2000 Season Highlights

• Record:16-3-1, 6-0-0

• Senior midfielder Michelle Peterson continues as the teams' leading scorer with 14 goals and nine assists for her 37 points from 54 shots.

• Kim Lowe leads the team in the assist category with 13 for the season. She's also second on the leader board in scoring with 29 points from eight goals and13 assists.

• The Cougars are currently on an 10 game winning streak and one tie since Sept. 28. Their last loss was on Sept. 22 against Marquette.

• BYU finished their home season undefeated in 2000 with a 7-0-1 record at South Field, their second consecutive unbeaten year.

• There have been seven shutouts to date for the Cougar defense and they have allowed just 18 goals.

• Head Coach Jennifer Rockwood picked up her 100th win in the 2-0 victory over Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Sept. 23.

• Freshman All-America Aleisha Cramer tallied her first collegiate goal for the Cougars, a minute and a half into the Weber State game. In that game, she picked up two goals and an assist. Currently Cramer has two goals and five assist for her nine points from 24 shots.

• Jennifer Waldron, BYU's junior goalkeeper picked up her first solo shutout in 2000 with the 2-0 win over Florida in Gainesville on Sept. 18.

• Sophomore goalie Kylee Dickson got her second start against UWM, recording her second shutout of the year. Her first was against Washington State on Sept. 4, a 3-0 win for the Cougars.

BYU Returning Starters To Watch - 2000 Stats

• 13 Michelle Jensen Peterson - MF/F, Sr (14G, 9A, 37PTS, 54SH)

• 15 Kim Lowe - MF, Sr (8G, 13A, 29PTS, 60SH)

• 12 Sara Reading - F/MF, Sr (12G, 4A, 28PTS, 86SH)

• 04 Natalyn Lewis - MF, Sr (5G, 5A, 15PTS, 49SH)

BYU Newcomers To Watch - 2000 Stats

• 17 Aleisha Cramer - MF, Fr (6G, 10A, 22PTS, 55SH)

• 14 Annie Hoecherl - 5-10 D, Fr (Played in 16 games, has one goal for her two points to date)

Cougar 2000 Quickie Stats(Conf)

• Averaging 25.1 (26.5) shots on goal per game

• Averaging 3.3 (4.3)goals per game

• Average 3.45 (4.16) assists per game

MWC Championship Preview

BYU's women's soccer team comes into this year's tournament with a perfect 6-0 record, regular season conference winners, the number one seed and the defending championship title holders.

Last year the Cougars clinched the first-ever MWC championship title by defeating SDSU in San Diego, 2-1 in overtime. BYU had a 5-1 record in conference play in 1999 with their lone loss to San Diego State.

In last year's tournament, the Cougars got to the title game by defeating Wyoming 1-0 in first round action, then they defeated instate rivals Utah 4-3 in semifinal action to advance to the title game against SDSU.

BYU and Conference Opponent Quickie Notes

•In the 2000 MWC season, the Cougars compiled a 6-0 record which included three shutouts, a 4-0 victory over SDSU, a 5-0 win against UNLV and a 4-0 decision over Air Force.

•BYU played four of its six conference games on the road.

•The Cougars hosted SDSU and UNLV.

•As a team, BYU tops the stats list in all conference game categories.

• MWC/BYU Player Stats Highlights

Michelle Peterson - 2nd in points (14pts=5g, 4a)

Michelle Peterson - 2nd in goals per game (5, .83 avg)

Sara Reading - 3rd place in shots per game (22)

Aleisha Cramer - 3rd in points (12pts=4g, 4a)

Aleisha Cramer - 1st in assists (4)

Aleisha Cramer - 3rd in goals per game (4, .67 avg)

BYU vs Possible First Opponent Notes

Air Force

The cougars traveled to Colorado Springs to play the Air Force Falcons on Oct. 19 where they tallied their third shutout in conference games, a 4-0 victory for BYU. Four different players scored for the Cougars, they were Sara Reading, Aleisha Cramer, Michelle Peterson and Lydia Ojuka. The Cougars had 18 shots on goal to the Falcons six.

UNLV

On the last regular season home game of the year at South Field and the night BYU honored its six graduating seniors, UNLV came to visit. After 90-minutes it was the Cougars who celebrated with the 5-0 victory. Freshman All-America Aleisha Cramer scored two goals and an assist in the game with Kim Lowe picking up her sixth and seventh goals of the year. BYU outshot UNLV 42 to 3.

Coach Jennifer Rockwood Quotes

We're excited about the conference tournament, especially if we can pick up our second consecutive title. We feel fortunate to have gotten a perfect record in our league games. I know the team is looking forward to the tournament and we know we need to stay focused and take one game at a time. We need to be at our best and play our best if we want to repeat as conference champions. Our conference teams are very good and everyone plays extremely tough especially in tournament play because the winner gets an opportunity to play in the NCAA tournament as we now have an automatic bid into the national championship.

The Rockwood File

Jennifer Rockwood begins her sixth season at the helm of BYU's women's soccer program. In the five year history of the Division I program, she has guided her team to two conference championships and three straight appearances in the NCAA Championships beginning with the 1997 season. The Cougars highest finish in the NCAA tourney came in 1998 when BYU finished in the "Sweet Sixteen." Her many honors include being named Coach of the Year by the Western Athletic Conference and by Soccer Buzz in 1996.

Prior to becoming the head coach, Rockwood led BYU's highly successful club soccer team, for seven years compiling a 128-25-9 record. In her final two years, she took her teams to first place in the Western National Collegiate Club Soccer Association (NCCSA) championships and to second place in the NCCSA national championships.

A native of Lake Oswego, Oregon, Rockwood was a three-sport athlete, receiving all-league and all-state honors in soccer, basketball, and track. She has also competed in the Olympic Development Program in both Oregon and Utah. Rockwood attended Ricks College on an academic and basketball scholarship for one year and then transferred to BYU, graduating in 1989 with a business administration degree. While at BYU, she played on the soccer club team as a four-year starter at center midfield.

Rockwood coached in the Utah Olympic Development Program and has coached at the youth club and high school levels. She is also currently the director of BYU summer soccer camps which recently put through over 1,400 participants.

Rockwood's Record (11 Years at BYU)

Club team/years: 128-25-9/7

Division I/years: 109-25-2/6

1995 Record: 11-8-1

1996 Record: 22-1-0

1997 Record: 19-4-0

1998 Record: 20-5-0

1999 Record: 21-4-0

2000 Record: 16-3-1

Cougars Travel/Road Practice

In Las Vegas the team will be staying at the Doubletree Club Hotel, located at 7250 Pollock Drive, 702-948-4000, 702-948-4100 fax. The Cougars arrive on Tuesday, Oct. 31 and will practice is that afternoon from 3-4 p.m. at Peter Johann Memorial Field. On Wed, Nov. 1, BYU practice from 10-11 a.m. All practices are open to the media.

Player and Coaches Interviews

During the 2000 MWC Championships in La Vegas, interviews with players and coaches need to be arranged with Norma Collett, the BYU women's socce SID. She'll be traveling with the team and can be contacted at the Doubletree Club Hotel at 702-948-4000 or via cellular phone: 801-372-0989.

MWC Championship Game Schedule - Las Vegas, Nevada

(Game times local and subject to change) - Games will be played at Peter Johann Memorial Field/2,500

Wednesday, Nov. 1

Game 1 - #3 San Diego vs #6 New Mexico, 2:00 p.m.

Game 2 - #2 Utah vs #7 Wyoming, 4:30 p.m.

Game 3 - #4 UNLV vs #5 Air Force, 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 2

Game 4 - Game 1 winner vs Game 2 winner, 4:30 p.m.

Game 5 - #1 BYU vs Game 3 Winner, 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 4

Game 6 - Championship Game, noon

Tournament Ticket Prices

All-Tournament Package

Adults-$15.00

Seniors/Students/Children-$7.00

Single Session Tickets

Adults-$6.00

Seniors/Students/Children-$3.00

Ticket Information: 702-895-3679

Up Next For The Cougars

On Sunday, Nov. 5, 10 p.m. Eastern time, the NCAA will announce the bracket for the 48 teams that will participate in this year's NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Championships. The Cougars are anticipating an invitation regardless of whether they win the MWC tourney or not. Please check BYU's web site byucougars.com for the announcement.