Cougars top Utah, draw Utah State

(Photo by BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)

PROVO, Utah – BYU women's' soccer finished the spring exhibition schedule unbeaten with a 4-0 victory over Utah and a 0-0 draw with Utah State.

The Cougars went 8-0-2 against collegiate competition over the past two months defeating teams from the Pac-12, Mountain West and Big Sky Conferences.

"There's a lot of momentum to take into next fall," BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. "We've got lots of work to do this spring and summer, but it makes you look forward to the future with this young group."

Against Utah, the Cougars scored two goals in the first half. Marissa Nimmer drew a foul in the box and Brittain Dearden took the penalty kick for a 1-0 advantage in the 24th minute. Ashley Hatch scored BYU's second goal five minutes later after she received a ball from Camille Green and shot to the opposite post beating the keeper for a two-goal advantage.

In the second half, Nimmer pushed a square ball to Green at the top of the box and Green put it past the keeper at the near post for a 3-0 advantage in the 42nd minute. In the 60th minute, Niki Fernandes beat two defenders to slide into the box, but the third defender took her down for a penalty kick. Nimmer stepped up and gave BYU the final 4-0 margin from the penalty spot.

In the first game of the day, BYU tied Utah State 0-0. After an even first half with nothing of note from either side, the Cougars looked more themselves in the second half. 

Five corner kicks helped lead to 11 shots. The Cougars started the half with three shots that hit off the crossbar. Green, Hatch and Fernandes were all victims of the woodwork.

Fernandes had another shot to the far post that was just tipped over by Utah State's keeper in the 62nd minute to keep the game scoreless. The Cougars created a few more opportunities but didn't put any in the net to come away with the draw.

"Every game we've learned and gotten better," Rockwood said. "I was so pleased with our performance today, even though the Utah State game was 0-0, I thought it was one of our best games of the spring and then we really put it all together against Utah."

The BYU defense recorded two clean sheets on Saturday. Annie Amos and Taylor Campbell played every minute at center back, while Avery Calton and Sarah Chambers saw most of the time at outside back. Miranda Bailey played outside back in the Utah State game. The two shutouts were the fourth and fifth of the spring.

BYU players along with eight new recruits will return in August to begin practice for the 2014 regular season and to defend their consecutive West Coast Conference championships.

2014 Spring Results

Feb. 22 (Indoor)

BYU 4, Idaho State 1

BYU 5, Weber State 1

BYU 5, Westminster 0

March 1

BYU 2, Arizona State 1

March 22

BYU 1, Southern Utah 0

BYU 3, Dixie State 0

April 5

BYU 2, USC 1

BYU 1, UNLV 1

April 12

BYU 0, Utah State 0

BYU 4, Utah 0