After picking up their third straight MWC Championship crown, BYU's women's soccer team is set to make its fifth consecutive appearance in the NCAA 2001 Women's College Cup Championships at the University of Nebraska. The Cougars' First Round opponent is Kansas on Thurs., Nov. 14 in a 4:30 p.m. CST kick off. Nebraska plays in the second game at 7 p.m., against Boston College. The winners play in Second Round action on Saturday night at 7 p.m. at the Abbott Sports Complex on the Nebraska campus.
BYU's NCAA History
Â• This is BYU's fifth consecutive visit to the NCAA Women's Soccer Championships. In the previous four appearances BYU has advanced into the "Sweet Sixteen" twice.
Â• The 2000 season was the first time the Cougars got a first round bye and the fourth time they encountered Santa Clara, this time in Provo. In second round action, BYU hosted Stanford defeating them 5-0 before the Cougars and Broncos showdown. On Nov. 18, BYU scored early at the 4:47 mark of the game. (This was the first time the Cougars had scored on the Broncos). Santa Clara tied up the score in the 55th minute of the game. The rest of the game was scoreless, thus sending the game into overtime where in the 101st minute of the action, the Broncos' Megan Horvath scored on a breakaway for the 2-1 ot victory.
Â• In 1997, BYU made its first appearance losing 1-0 in the first round to Santa Clara in Santa Clara.
Â• The Cougars had their best showing to date in 1998 finishing in the "Sweet Sixteen." They got there after a 6-1 victory against Stanford in Provo, and a 2-0 shutout over UCLA in Los Angeles. In the round of 16, BYU once again met Santa Clara on their home field with the Broncos picking up a 3-0 win to end the Cougars run at the title.
Â• During the 1999 season , BYU got its third straight invite, hosting a first round game against California where the Cougars picked up the 2-0 win. Then it was once again to Santa Clara for a third meeting against the Broncos who were ranked number one in the country. Santa Clara defeated BYU 0-2 in that matchup.
Â•BYU's overall record in the NCAA
Year Team Record NCAA
1997 19-4-0 0-1
1998 21-4-0 2-1
1999 21-4-0 1-1
2000 19-3-1 2-1
Overall Record: 5-4
2001 MWC Championship Recap
BYU clinched its third straight MWC Championship crown by defeating UNLV 2-1 in last Saturday's title game. Lydia Ojuka and Kelly Hunsberger scored for the Cougars. They had advanced into the championship game by beating Utah on Thursday 2-0. The Cougars had a first round bye into the conference tourney by winning the regular season crown with a 5-1 record.
Sophomore forward Lydia Ojuka picked up her first MVP honor of her collegiate career at the tournament after scoring three goals in the two games BYU played. She was joined on the All-Tournament Team by teammates Aleisha Cramer, Jennie Christianson and Aurelin Weidner.
Five Cougars Honored By MWC
Aleisha Cramer - Conference Player of the Year
Aleisha Cramer - All Mountain West Conference First Team
Jeni Christianson - All Mountain West Conference First Team
Jeni Willardson Viernes - All Mountain West Conference First Team
Aurelin Weidner - All Mountain West Conference Second Team
Kim Devine - All Mountain West Conference Second Team
BYU And The MWC
In 2001 the Cougar team compiled a 5-1-0 record in conference games with the lone loss coming at the hands of second seeded New Mexico. The Lobos picked up a 1-0 victory at South Field on Oct. 19. Three of the BYU victories over conference opponents were shutouts.
Hermann Watch And MAC Collegiate Soccer Award Nominee
Â• All American Aleisha Cramer is also one of 13 college players to be nominated for the Hermann Trophy. She's the lone sophomore nominated. She was made a finalist for the prestigious Missouri Athletic Club men's and women's Collegiate Soccer Players of the Year awards. The M.A.C. award is the official National Soccer Coaches Association of America/adidas award for Division I players.
Returning Starters To Watch
Â• 17 Aleisha Cramer - MF, So (9G, 8A, 26PTS, 62SH)
Â• 11 Sarah Higham Yee - MF, Sr (4G, 2A, 10PTS, 35SH)
Â• 18 Jeni Willardson Viernes - MF, Jr (7G, 6A, 20PTS, 53SH)
Newcomers To Watch
Â• 15 Kim Devine - 5-5 F/Fr, Laguna Niguel, CA (Has started in all but one game, 9G, 3A, 21PTS, 51SH)
Â• 9 Krissa Campbell - MF/F, Fr, Folsom, CA (Played in 17 games, 1G, 2PTS, 11SH)
Â• 2 Kimmie Davis - MF/F, Fr, Torrance, CA (Played in 17 games, starting in one, 2G, 4A, 8PTS, 9SH)
Cougar '01 Quickie Stats
Â• Averaging 19.15 shots on goal per game
Â• Averaging 2.35 goals per game
Â• Average 2.00 assists per game
Â• Average 6.70 points per game
The BYU women's soccer team currently on a five-game winning streak finished its regular season schedule with an 11-6-1, 5-1-0 record, clinching its second consecutive regular season MWC crown. They then went on to win two more games in the conference's tournament for a third straight championship title and a 13-6-1 record. Coming into this year's NCAA Championships All-American Aleisha Cramer is the team's leading scorer with 26 points from nine goals and eight assists. Freshman Kim Devine follows in scoring with nine goals and three assists for her 21 points. She's followed by junior Jeni Willardson Viernes who has seven goals and six assists for 20 points. Sophomore forward Lydia Ojuka's three goals in the MWC tourney propelled her to fourth in scoring with 13 points. Junior forward Kelly Hunsberger and senior Sarah Higham Yee round out the double digit scoring for the Cougars with 10 points each from four goals and two assists to date. BYU is out shooting opponents 383 to 185, that's an average of 19.1 shots a game. The Cougars have tallied 47 goals to opponents 18. The defense has had ten shutouts to date with senior goalkeeper Jennifer Waldron averaging a .94 in goals allowed.
NCAA Opponent Notes
Kansas - This is the Jayhawks first appearance in the NCAA tournament. Kansas is a member of the Big 12 conference where they finished in fourth place with a 7-3 record, 13-6-0 overall. Hilla Rantala, a senior forward from Finland is the team's leading scorer with 10 goals and 12 assists for 32 points. A senior forward and two freshman forwards are also in double digit points. Monica Brothers and Rachel Gilfillan, the two freshman, have 21 and 18 points respectively. Senior Natalie Hoogvold has 15 points rom eight goals and two assists. Kansas is getting 13.6 shots and 2.4 goals per game. They won their last four games before falling to MU in overtime 0-1. This is the first time that the Jayhawks and Cougars have played each other.
Boston College - Coming into this year's NCAA tournament, the Eagles have tallied an 11-9-1, 32-1 record. They finished in the semifinals of the Big East Championships, losing to Notre Dame 0-3. Sophomore midfielder Sarah Rahko is the team's leading scorer with nine goals and eight assists for 26 points. She's also the team's assist leader. Senior forward Meghan Moore has nine goals and she's contributed with seven assists for her25 points from 82 shots on goal. Carolyn Iacobelli has four goals and four assists after starting in 13 games to date. Boston College is outshooting opponents 329 to 287 and they have 41 goals to their opponents 36. If the Eagles and Cougars meet in a Saturday game it will be the first contest between the two schools.
Nebraska - Hosting the First and Second Rounds of this year's NCAA soccer championships is Nebraska. The Cornhuskers have compiled a 15-4-1, 8-1--1 record and finished in the semifinals of the Big 12 conference tournament. At home, Nebraska has a perfect 10-0-0 record and they average nearly 1,000 fans. Hermann candidate Christine Latham is the team's leading scorer with 15 goals and 10 assists for her 40 points from 107 shots. Meghan Anderson is the team's assist leader with 11 and has tallied 10 goals for her 31 points. Kansas shoots an average of 24.3 shots and 3.0 goals per game. They are getting 175 corner kicks to opponents 41 on the season. The Cornhuskers and Cougars met earlier this year (Oct. 17) in Lincoln with Nebraska picking up the 2-0 shutout at the Abbott Sports Complex.
The Rockwood File
Jennifer Rockwood begins her seventh season at the helm of BYU's women's soccer program. In six years she has guided her team to three conference championships and four straight appearances in the NCAA Championships beginning with the 1997 season. The Cougars have had two "Sweet Sixteen" finishes in 1998 and in 2000. Her many honors include two Coach of the Year honors, by the WAC in 1996 and in 2000 by the MWC.
Last season, she became the first MWC coach to eclipse the 100-win total on Sept. 23 with a 2-0 victory over Milwaukee-Wisconsin. Entering the 2001 season coach Rockwood ranked fifth among active coaches by winning percentage. She has averaged 18.6 wins per season over the past five years, which ranks second behind only Anson Dorrance of North Carolina for wins per season. Dorrance has won an average of 22.2 matches per season.
Rockwood has also coached in the Utah ODP, the youth club's and high school levels.
Rockwood's Record (13 Years at BYU, 7 with club team)
Division I/years: 125-32-3/6 (.781)
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: 19-4-1
2001 Record: 13-6-1, 5-1-0
We're thrilled with the opportunity to be playing in this year's NCAA tournament. This has been one of our team's most important goals for the season. I know we'll be ready to play on Thursday although we don't know very much about Kansas. I'm pleased with the way we're playing right now and I know the team will give it their best effort.
BYU leaves for Nebraska on Wed. Nov. 14 on United flight 1262 at 11:20 a.m. arriving in Omaha via Denver on flight #1580 at 3:48 p.m. The Cougars will be staying at the Cornhuskers Hotel, 333 South 13th Street, Lincoln, 402-474-7474, 402-474-6006 fax.
If BYU beats Kansas on Thursday, they will advance to the Second Round to play the winner of the Nebraska vs Boston College game. The Second Round game will be played Sat., Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. (CST) at the Abbott Sports Complex on the Nebraska campus.