BYU looks to topple two ranked opponents this weekend. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- No. 18 BYU (3-0-0) faces two ranked opponents at home this weekend with games against No. 21 Colorado (3-0-1) and No. 22 Fresno State (3-0-1) on Friday and Saturday, respectively. Both games are slated to begin at 7 p.m.
"We are fortunate this week to host two outstanding teams in Provo," head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. "Colorado is off to a fantastic start, defeating two ranked teams last weekend. They clearly dominated their opponents and had a great showing from some younger players. CU freshman, Nikki Marshall, has already scored 5 goals this season and will be someone we will have to try and slow down. Forward Katie Griffin, will also return from injuries this week. She has experience with the U-21 Women's National team and will be an added threat to their front line. Offensively they are in sync and have already put 12 goals in the net. Our defense played very well last week against a talented Georgia offense. We hope that experience will help us to prepare and give us confidence for the upcoming games."
The BYU-Colorado matchup will be televised live on BYUTV. Live stats for both games will be available at http://www.byucougars.com/Schedule.jsp?SP=162&YR=2006.
BYU enters the week coming off wins against Idaho State and No. 15 Georgia. BYU upset Georgia, 2-0, handing the Bulldogs their first loss and shutting them out for the first time this season.
The Cougars are led by sophomore Alyssa Vander Veur, who has netted two goals in three games this year. Amberlea Anderson, Katie Fellows and Brooke Bowman have also scored a goal apiece. Carolyn Swenson has posted two assists, while Erika Woodbury has saved the ball a total of five times this season.
Friday's game will be the third meeting between BYU and Colorado with the last meeting coming in the 2003 NCAA Tournament. In the first round BYU was matched up with No. 11 Colorado and shutout the Buffaloes, 2-0, to advance to the second round.
Colorado is characterized by a fierce offensive threat with five players netting goals already this season. Nikki Marshall leads the attack with five goals, followed by Michelle Wenino and Alex Cousins with three and two goals, respectively. Caitlin Choun and Megan Manthey also have scored for the Buffaloes. Goalkeeper Kara Linder has recorded 11 saves.
The Cougars also lead Fresno State 3-0, after defeating the Bulldogs in 1995, 1996 and 1997. This is the first meeting since BYU left the Western Athletic Conference in 1999. Fresno is led by Cortney Sobrero and Alison Sill, posting two goals and three assists, respectively. Angie Larsen has earned 29 saves on the season.
"Fresno State is having the best start in their programs history and will be looking to make more waves this weekend," Rockwood said. "Last week they defeated No. 16 U of Florida on the road. They have proven to have a tough defense that has not allowed a single goal in four tough matches. Our team will be focus this week on improving our movement off the ball in the offensive half, so that we may have more creative looks at the goal. We have had four different players score for us this season and feel that our depth on the forward line is one of our strengths."