(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah (Oct. 4, 2008) -- Despite cold and rainy conditions, the Cougars found the back of the net five times in the first half enroute to a 5-0 victory over Utah in the first conference action for both teams, with five of the goals coming in the first half.
"We knew that we were going to have to come out very strong against a good Utah team, and we did," said head coach Jennifer Rockwood. "We were able to have some success, and the girls played very well."
The Cougars tallied three goals in the first eighteen minutes of the game. Senior All-American forward Katie Larkin slid the ball past the Ute keeper for the first goal of the game. Just three minutes later, Larkin again scored on a penalty kick after Kassidy Christensen was knocked down in the box chasing after the ball. Larkin is 3-3 in penalty kicks this season.
Five minutes later, midfielder Kelesa Kakadelas fed the ball to freshman Lauren Anderson who launched a long shot that made it past the keeper. The goal was Anderson's second of the season. At the 34 minute mark, sophomore forward Becca Riddle caged a rebound after forward Alyssa Vander Veur's shot was blocked and knocked it in for the fourth goal of the first half.
Anderson would pick up her team-leading sixth assist of the season when she passed the ball to senior forward Katie Fellows Hodgkiss who fought through a crowd of players in the box and scored. Utah came out strong in the second half, and kept the pressure on consistently, but sophomore keeper Aleena Shelton was solid in goal, notching five saves and held the Utes scoreless. Freshman keeper McKinzie Olson started the game and had four saves before leaving the game at halftime.
"This was a big win for us," said Rockwood. "We're glad to start off conference play with a win. It's a long season, but we're looking forward to the next game."
With the win, BYU improves to 8-5-0 (1-0 MWC) and wins the soccer portion of the Deseret First Duel. BYU also wins six points towards the overall school competition. The game was the first time BYU had scored five goals in a game since a 5-0 win against Utah State on Sept. 5, 2005. BYU will next be in action Thursday, Oct. 9, at 7:00 p.m., when they take on MWC foe UNLV at South Field. A live stat feed will be available for the game at www.byucougars.com/soccer_w/. The Cougars will then face San Diego State at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 11, at South Field.