(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah—In a hard fought battle, the BYU women’s soccer team (7-4-2) fell to an undefeated and nationally ranked Pepperdine (10-0-4), 1-0, Saturday on South Field.
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“I was really pleased with the way we played,” head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. “We weren’t as crisp as we could be or maybe we needed to be, but overall I thought we played really well.”
The only goal of the game came in the first two minutes of play, with Pepperdine’s Lynn Williams scoring on a through ball from Michelle Manning.
Pepperdine had another opportunity at goal when a ball was played behind the Cougar defense to Anisa Guajardo, but keeper McKinizie Olson was able to obstruct the player and came away with an amazing block off her foot. Olson finished the game with four impressive saves.
The Cougars were unable to execute in the final third of the first half, having only two shots on goal, the first of which came from a hard left foot strike by Jaiden Thornock with seven minutes left in the half, but Pepperdine keeper Roxanne Barker was able to deflect.
Both teams picked up momentum in the second half, and BYU was able to create more opportunities in the box, with eight shots on goal compared to two in the first half. However, the Cougars were still unable to get anything past the Pepperdine defense and goalie.
“There is a reason why Pepperdine is undefeated and ranked eighth in the country,” Rockwood said. “They’re a very good team, but I really felt, especially in the second half, we came out and put a lot of pressure on them.”
A team that has only given up seven goals so far this season, along with their undefeated record, Pepperdine has also now recorded seven shutouts.
The BYU defense held strong, allowing only seven shots on goal for a team that averages 15 a game. This was only the third time this season that Pepperdine was held to single digit shots. Colette Jepson led the Cougars with four shots on goal.
"We definitely created opportunities but unfortunately we weren’t able to get that tying goal,” Rockwood said. “Overall I was pleased with the way we battled.”
The Cougars now hit the road for a two-game stint, playing No. 17 Santa Clara on Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. PDT and Gonzaga on Oct. 15 at 1 p.m. PDT.
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"I think we had some great looks and some great chances. We tried to put a lot of pressure on them, and that’s all you can really ask from your players, to play hard and to create those goal-scoring opportunities."
"Unfortunately we weren’t able to get that tying goal, I believe that if we could have got it we probably could have moved forward."