NO. 15 BYU HOSTS NCAA TOURNAMENT IN PROVO
The Division I Women's Soccer Committee announced that No. 15-ranked BYU is one of 16 regional sites to host the first and second round of the 2002 NCAA Women's College Cup. BYU will face Utah on Thursday, Nov. 14 at South Field in Provo in the first round of the 2002 NCAA Women's College Cup. Kick off for that game is set for 7 p.m.
Also Thursday, Idaho State will face No. 8-seed Portland, ranked ninth in the nation, in the earlier regional game at 4:30 p.m. The winners of the two Thursday games will meet each other in Provo on Saturday at South Field in the second round of the College Cup at noon.
The Cougars have faced each of the teams coming to Provo already this season, beating then No. 2 Portland 2-1, No. 24 Utah 2-1 and losing to Idaho State, 2-0.
The Cougars, fresh off a 14-3 scoring romp through the MWC Tournament, are making their sixth-straight appearance in the NCAA post-season tournament. To view the entire tournament bracket, go to www.ncaasports.com.
On Nov. 2, the Cougars defeated the Utes 2-1 in Salt Lake in the regular-season finale for the two teams, improving its all-time record against Utah to a perfect 11-0. Utah then lost in the MWC semifinals to New Mexico while BYU won its fourth-straight tourney title with a 5-1 win over the Lobos.
COACH ROCKWOOD QUOTES
"We feel excited to be in the NCAA tournament, it doesn't really matter who we're playing. We're excited about the opportunity to be playing at home. We've played well at home this year, especially in the last month and a half. We love playing in front of our own fans."
"We had such a great weekend, we scored a lot of goals. A lot of players played quality minutes. Last weekend gave us more confidence going into the tournament."
About the 13-game winning streak: "It was certainly a motivating factor during the regular season. It was something we talked about and used it to motivate the team each week. Now it doesn't matter so much, if you lose, you're out. Our goal now is to win both games this weekend."
BYU'S NCAA HISTORY
--Last year, BYU defeated Kansas 1-0 in first-round action before falling 3-0 to No. 10 Nebraska in Lincoln, Neb.
--This is BYU's sixth-consecutive visit to the NCAA Women's Soccer Championships. In the previous five appearances BYU has advanced into the "Sweet Sixteen" twice.
--The 2000 season was the first time the Cougars got a first round bye and the fourth time they encountered the Santa Clara Broncos, this time in Provo. In second round action, BYU hosted Stanford on Nov. 11, defeating them 5-0 before the Cougars-Broncos Nov. 18 showdown. Just 4:47 into the game, BYU scored for the first time ever on Santa Clara. The Broncos tied up the score in the 55th minute of the game. The rest of the game was scoreless, sending the game into overtime. In the 101st minute, the Broncos' Megan Horvath scored on a breakaway for the 2-1 OT victory.
--During the 1999 season , BYU got its third-straight invite, hosting a first round game against California where the Cougars picked up a 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 2-0 in that matchup.
--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, where the Broncos picked up a 3-0 win to end the Cougars run at the title.
--In 1997, BYU made its first NCAA post-season appearance, losing 1-0 in the first round to Santa Clara in Santa Clara, Calif.
BYU's OVERALL RECORD IN THE NCAAs
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
2001 14-7-1 1-1
Overall Record: 5-5
Utah (12-3-3) is coming off a very successful regular season that saw it make several appearances in the nation's Top 25, along with a run at the MWC's regular season title. The Utes came up short, losing to BYU, 2-1, in Salt Lake to finish second in the conference to the Cougars.
Shauna Gurr-Bingham and Missy Dennis, first and second-team All-MWC selections, respectively, both have eight goals on the year to lead Utah. As a team, Utah ranks 15th nationally in goals-against average.
The Pilots (14-4-2) boast one of the top players in the country in All-America forward Christine Sinclair, who has 16 goals in 15 games. Portland has spent much of the season ranked in the Top 5 nationally, while currently boasting the No. 7 spot.
On the other side of the field, defender Lauren Orlandos, a senior from Lake Forset, Calif., has helped the Pilots notch 12 shutouts this season. Orlandos and Sinclair have been named as finalists for the Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann trophy, awarded to the top players in NCAA Division I soccer.
SCOUTING IDAHO STATE
Idaho State handed the Cougars one of their five losses this season and the only Cougar loss to an unranked opponent this year. The loss was only the 10th home loss for BYU in eight years of Division I play.
The Bengals (13-6-1) went on to win the Big Sky Conference tournament championship with a 1-0 overtime win over Portland State. The leading score for Idaho State is Stacey Peterson, who has 11 goals and five assists on the year.
NEW WIN-STREAK RECORD AT HAND
BYU's 13-game win streak is the second longest in team history, one off the record of 14 set in 1996 when the Cougars won their first 14 games before losing to San Jose State. BYU then finished that season with an eight-game win streak for a 22-1 record, its best ever.
COUGARS WIN FOURTH MWC TOURNAMENT, PLAYERS HONORED
BYU won its fourth-straight MWC Tournament on the strength of senior Jeni Viernes' four goals. The Murray, Utah native was named tournament MVP and several Cougars were named to the all-tournament team. Viernes was joined by freshman Brooke Bowman, junior Aleisha Cramer-Rose and junior Jennifer Henry-Fielding on the all-tournament team.
VIERNES IGNITES FOR FOUR GOALS IN MWC TOURNEY CHAMPIONSHIP
It seems the honors and awards keep piling up for BYU senior forward Jeni Viernes, who scored four goals and was named MWC Tournament MVP after the Cougars' 5-1 win over New Mexico in the tournament championship. Viernes was also named MWC Player of the Year earlier in the week.
Viernes got things started when she capitalized on a mistake by Lobo keeper Kristen Winters, who decided to allow the ball to roll into the box before attempting to pick it up. Viernes alertly attacked and was able to poke the ball away from Winters and push it into the open net. The goal put BYU up 1-0 16 minutes into the game.
The Lobos tied the game in the 25th minute when UNM's sophomore midfielder LeAnne Hendren found the back of the net, making the score 1-1.
But Viernes was just getting started, as she would grab a hat trick before the first half even ended. She scored two more goals in the span of 10 minutes to put BYU up 3-1 at the half.
Her second goal came as Cramer-Rose centered to Viernes from the deep left corner, with Viernes then heading the ball past Winters. Goal number three for Viernes and BYU came two minutes before the half as Viernes drew the keeper out on the right and slid the ball across the face of the goal to give the Cougars a 3-1 advantage.
The fourth goal of the afternoon for Viernes came on another header as the ball went from junior forward/midfielder Lydia Ojuka to freshman forward/midfielder Jaime Rendich to Viernes, who headed the ball in with 11 minutes left in the game.
Freshman forward/defender Davia King and sophomore Krissa Campbell combined to get the ball to Ojuka who tapped in the Cougars' fifth goal in the 87th minute to make the final score 5-1.
BYU EXPLODES FOR NINE GOALS IN 9-2 WIN OVER SDSU IN SEMIFINAL
In game two of the semifinals of the Mountain West Conference Women's Soccer Championships, No. 1 seed Brigham Young demolished No. 5 seed San Diego State 9-2. The Cougars improve to 15-5-0 and have won 12 consecutive games while the Aztecs finished the season at 13-7-0.
BYU scored five goals in the first half on 13 shots. MWC Freshman of the Year Brooke Bowman recorded the first goal 12 minutes into the game. Two-time All-American Aleisha Cramer Rose was credited with the assist.
Junior forward Jennifer Fielding and freshman midfielder Jamie Rendich scored two goals a piece to lead the Cougars to victory. Rendhich's two goals are a career high.
Britney Holman scored her first goal of the season as she dribbled the ball all the way from midfield 24 minutes in the first half.
Last season's MWC Tournament MVP Lydia Ojuka headed in a goal to with four minutes left in the first half.
MWC Player of the Year Jeni Viernes scored four minutes into the seocnd half before sitting out the rest of the game. Freshman Davia King notched her second goal of the season with five minutes left in the match.
San Diego State's Boo Tinling scored both goals for the Aztecs, including a header with 16 seconds left in the game.
The Cougars led 8-0 before the Aztecs outscored them 2-1 in the final seven minutes of play. The nine goals are a MWC Tournament record and a season-high for the Cougars. The Cougars have posted three five-point games.
CONFERENCE DOMINATION CONTINUES AS BYU FOUR-PEATS
Since the beginning of the Mountain West Conference in 1999, BYU's name has been the only one to grace MWC women's soccer championship plaques. That trend continued this year when the Cougars defeated Utah 2-1 on Nov. 2 in Salt Lake. BYU boasts a 23-2 regular-season record against MWC opponents and went a perfect 6-0 in the 2002 campaign. What remains to be seen is if BYU can also win the MWC tournament title this week for the fourth-straight year .
The tournament title streak began in 1999, when BYU posted a 2-1 victory over San Diego State University to win the tournament title. In 2000, the Cougars beat Utah 6-1 to again claim the crown. Last year, UNLV was the next victim in BYU's incredible run, losing 2-1 to the Cougars in the MWC tournament championship game.
NATIONAL POLLS PUSH COUGARS HIGHER IN TOP 25
A 13-game winning streak and a convincing run through the Mountain West Conference tournament have instilled confidence in more than just the Cougar players. The national polls are also showing confidence in BYU's capabilities, as evidenced by the the final regular-season national polls.
BYU made significant leaps in each of the national polls, climbing as high as 14th in one of the rankings. College Soccer Ratings, a power ranking based on team record and opponents played, placed BYU 14th, up three from the 17th spot a week ago.
In the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll, BYU jumped from 22nd last week to 16th today. Visit the NSCAA Web site to see the Top 25.
In Soccer America's national poll, BYU went from unranked to 17th, the first time the Cougars have been in Soccer America's Top 25 since the first week of this season.
Soccer Buzz magazine also gave kudos to the Cougars, launching BYU from 22nd up to 15th in their final poll of the regular season. Soccer Buzz also ranked the Cougars 6th in its West region.
Soccer Times pushed BYU up four spots to No. 16 from last week's No. 20 ranking.
2002 CONFERENCE GAME RECAPS
Game 1--Oct. 10: BYU 5, Air Force 1
The BYU women's soccer team opened up conference play strong with a 5-1 victory over Air Force. The Cougars improve to 7-5, 1-0 while the Falcons drop to 5-8, 0-1 on the season.
The Falcons hoped to get their first-ever win against the Cougars as they struck first with a goal three minutes into the game by senior Mary Cholko.
BYU promptly answered the Falcon's challenge with a goal in the 13th minute by junior Annie Hoecherl off a corner kick from All-American Aleisha Cramer Rose. The goal is Hoerchel's second of the season.
Less than a minute later, senior Jeni Viernes notched her fifth goal of the season when she received a pass from junior Jennifer Henry Fielding. Fielding promptly scored off an assist from junior Britney Holman. In less than two minutes, the Cougar attack scored three goals to take a commanding 3-1 to finish the first half.
In the second half, the Cougars tacked on two goals in the final minutes as freshman Brooke Bowman and junior Lydia Ojuka scored.
BYU outshot Air Force 17-2 in the first period and 12-4 in the second. Sophomore Amanda Gott recorded three saves while the Falcon's Jennifer Monson notched 11 saves.
Game 2--Oct. 12: BYU 1, Wyoming 0
Senior Jeni Viernes scored her sixth goal of the season to give BYU a 1-0 win over conference foe Wyoming, the fifth win in a row for the Cougars. BYU now stands at 8-5-0 overall and 2-0-0 in conference play, while the Cowgirls fall to 4-8-1 and 0-2-0, respectively.
Viernes' headed the ball in off a corner kick from teammate Aleisha Cramer-Rose in the 10th minute of the game, a trend of late as Rose has delivered corner kicks resulting in goals in several recent games.
The Cougars out-shot the Cowgirls 23-3 for the game and came close on several shots, but were never able to extend their lead.
Game 3--Oct. 17: BYU 3, New Mexico 2
All-American Aleisha Cramer-Rose scored two goals to power the BYU women's soccer team to a 3-2 win over co-conference leader New Mexico in Albuquerque. With the win, the Cougars move to 3-0-0 in conference play and 9-5-0 overall, while UNM falls to 2-1-0 in the conference and 9-6-0 overall.
The Lobos scored first on a header by forward Erchen Theys at 26:46. Rose and the Cougars would answer six minutes later, however, as the junior midfielder/defender scored two goals in six minutes to put BYU up 2-1.
Rose's first goal came in the 32nd minute off a penalty kick, and then her free kick from 30 yards out at 38:46 also found the back of the net.
The Cougars controlled the tempo for the rest of the contest until Lobo Rachael Addison shot a goal past Cougar keeper Mandy Gott to tie the game at 2-2 in the 81st minute.
Freshman Brooke Bowman delivered the game winner on a cross from senior Jeni Viernes at 85:08 to give BYU a 3-2 win.
Game 4--Oct. 24: BYU 3, UNLV 2
Facing a two-goal deficit at the half, the BYU women's soccer team scored three goals in the second half to defeat UNLV 3-2 and extend their winning streak to eight games. BYU remains undefeated in conference play and improves to 11-5, 4-0, while the Runnin' Rebels drop to 10-5-1, 2-2.
UNLV got off to a quick lead with a header goal by freshman Nickie Olson off a cross from the right side from sophomore Jessika Vasquez. Four minutes later senior captain Cristyn Enea received a deflection six yards in front of the BYU goal for a point blank score.
The Rebels took a 2-0 into the half despite being out shot by the Cougars 14-4.
Senior forward Jeni Viernes led a furious comeback in the second half with a goal less than a minute ticked off the clock. Fifteen minutes later, Viernes scored a double-header goal, her second of the game, to tie it at 2-2. Junior Jennifer Fielding crossed the ball to freshman Brooke Bowman, who headed the ball to Viernes' head, for the score.
Bowman scored the game-winning goal, her second in the last week, with a sliding-kick from junior Lydia Ojuka to bring the crowd to their feet. Bowman was also credited with two assists on the night.
BYU out shot UNLV 33-8 in the physical game that saw a total of 29 fouls committed by both teams.
Game 5--Oct. 26: BYU 5, San Diego State 1
Senior Jeni Willardson-Viernes continued her offensive tear as she scored the opening goal to ignite BYU (12-5-0, 5-0-0) to a 5-1 win over SDSU in Mountain West Conference action. The forward/midfielder has scored three goals in the last two games, helping the Cougars to extend their win streak to nine games.
BYU did just that, as Viernes' goal came less than 90 seconds into the game. She slipped down the Aztecs' defense, received a pass from junior forward/midfielder Terra Smith-Bigelow and placed her kick in the left corner of the net past SDSU keeper Stephanie Pearson.
Hopes of a Cougar shutout ended when SDSU (10-6-0, 2-3-0) evened the score 26 minutes later as senior forward Arinda Alvarez drew Cougar keeper Ashley Smith away from the goal and put the ball in the right corner of the net.
BYU's offense again came alive at the 29:44 mark when Aleisha Cramer-Rose's corner kick found Annie Hoecherl, who headed the ball to Charlene Lui. The freshman midfielder/defender, with her back to the goal, then placed the ball over SDSU's keeper Stephanie Pearson for her second goal of the season.
The Cougars took a 3-1 lead on a great assist from junior Lydia Ojuka in the 56th minute. The forward placed a high cross from the deep right corner that found the foot of freshman Brooke Bowman who slid the ball between two SDSU defenders to notch her seventh goal of the season.
The Cougar youth movement continued as freshman Brooke Thulin fed fellow freshman Jamie Rendich, whose kick then found the back of the net to give BYU a 4-1 lead at 68:05.
BYU's fifth goal of the evening came on a breakaway by freshman forward Davia King who sprinted away from the Aztecs at midfield and then pushed the ball into the right side of the net away from Pearson in the 76th minute.
BYU out-shot SDSU 29-5, while SDSU's Pearson had nine saves and Smith grabbed two saves for the Cougars.
Game 6--Nov. 2: BYU 2, Utah 1
As it has all season, the No. 24 BYU Cougars found answers from both veteran and young players in its 2-1 victory over No. 24 Utah in Salt Lake. With the win, BYU (14-5-0, 6-0-0) wins the Mountain West Conference regular-season title for the fourth-consecutive year and extends its winning streak to 11 games.
Senior forward Jeni Willardson-Viernes put BYU up 2-0, scoring her sixth game-winning goal of the season in the 64th minute on a pass from junior All-American Aleisha Cramer-Rose. Cramer-Rose delivered a low pass from thirty yards out on a free kick to Viernes who one-timed it past Ute keeper Courtney Hills-McBeth to notch her 11th goal of the season.
BYU's defense kept Utah (11-2-3, 4-1-1) out of the goal for the entire game until a penalty kick by Ute forward Shauna Gurr-Bingham found the back of the net with 18 seconds remaining in the match, making the score 2-1. Utah threatened again moments later on a deep run but came up short as Cougar keeper Mandy Gott gathered the wide shot and allowed time to expire.
The Cougars first goal of the game came in the 41st minute on a header by sophomore forward/midfielder Kimmie Davis. The Torrance, Calif., native headed a feed from freshman forward/midfielder Jamie Rendich into the left side of the net past Hills-McBeth to score her second goal of the season.
BYU IN NATIONAL STATISTICS
Scoring Offense Goals Avg.
17th 57 2.71/game
W-L-T % Record Percentage
23rd 16-5-0 .762
INDIVIDUAL NCAA LEADERS
Goals per Game Goals Avg.
T-30th Jeni Viernes 16 0.76/game
Assists per Game Assists Avg.
T-22nd Aleisha Cramer-Rose 12 0.57/game
Points (SG High) vs. Opp. Pts. Date
T-10th Jeni Viernes New Mexico 8 11/9/02
Goals (SG High) vs. Opp. Goals Date
T-5th Jeni Viernes New Mexico 4 11/9/02
BYU IN MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE FINAL STATISTICS
MWC--TEAM SINGLE GAME
24 vs. SDSU (11/7/02)
9 vs. SDSU (11/7/02)
7 vs. New Mexico (11/9/02)
40 vs. St. Mary's (9/27/02)
MWC HIGHS--INDIVIDUAL SINGLE GAME
8 Jeni Viernes vs. New Mexico (11/9/02)
4 Jeni Viernes vs. New Mexico (11/9/02)
2 Aleisha Cramer-Rose vs. New Mexico (11/9/02)
2 Brooke Bowman (twice)
13 Jeni Viernes vs. UNLV (10/24/02)
2002 SCHEDULE PITS COUGARS AGAINST NATION'S BEST
The 2002 BYU women's soccer team opened the season playing its first three games against teams that participated in last year's NCAA Women's Soccer College Cup.
No. 2-ranked University of Portland visited the Cougars' at South Field on August 30, losing 2-1 to BYU. Then BYU traveled to Wolverine country to take on No. 18 Michigan in Ann Arbor, losing 2-1. No. 18 Kentucky defeated the Cougars 2-0 in Provo, while St. Mary's, ranked No. 16 in the NSCAA preseason poll, lost 2-1 in double overtime to the Cougars on Sept. 27.
BYU took to the road to battle its remaining NCAA tournament participants with a trip to Los Angeles for a matchup against No. 20 USC, which resulted in a 1-0 loss for BYU, and then a 6-0 loss to No. 3 UCLA on Sept. 25. The Cougars would not lose again, travelling to South Bend and defeating No. 23 Notre Dame 3-2 on Oct. 19 as part of an 11-game winning streak.
The Cougar team spent the first three weeks of October on the road, returning to South Field Thurday, Oct. 24 to defeat UNLV 3-2. The team's itinerary included trips to Washington, Montana, New Mexico and Indiana.
In MWC action, the Cougars spent most of conference play on the road, hosting only UNLV and SDSU before hosting this year's Mountain West Conference Championships.
CREAM OF THE CROP
The nine new freshmen players set to kick off their soccer collegiate years at BYU this fall were recently ranked the 17th best recruiting class in the nation by Soccer Buzz Magazine. That's the highest ranking ever for an incoming class in the program's history. BYU also finished fifth in the West Region behind UCLA, Arizona State, Stanford and California.
All-Americans Brooke Bowman (Plano, TX) and Jennifer Henry Fielding (Pasco, WA) are two of the highly touted players. Bowman and Fielding will add more strength and depth to BYU's team along with the other seven very experienced and accomplished freshmen.
Jamie Rendich and Brooke Thulin, from Southern California have trained and played in one of the country's most talented pools of players. Their So. Cal Blues club is considered one of the top youth clubs in the country with a National Youth Championship to prove it. They have also both represented Southern California on their State ODP team and on the Region IV ODP team.
Two of the Utah recruits, Ashley Smith and Natalie Evans, along with sophomore keeper Amanda Gott, will be vying for the starting goalkeeper spot.
South Field, home to the Cougars since 1995, is a tough place to steal a victory. In seven seasons, BYU has posted a 52-8-1 (.852) record on their home grass. At one point, the Cougars had a three-year win streak in Provo, from Sept. 30, 1995 to Sept. 6, 1998.
BYU's home field advantage is enhanced by the presence of a large and vocal Cougar crowd. Attendance at South Field consistently ranks among the best in the nation. Last year, BYU ranked 12th among national attendance leaders with an average of 1,087 fans filling the seats at South Field.
THE ROCKWOOD FILE
Jennifer Rockwood begins her eighth season at the helm of BYU's women's soccer program. In six years she has guided her team to four conference championships and five straight appearances in the NCAA Championships, beginning with the 1997 season. The Cougars have had two "Sweet Sixteen" finishes: in 1998 and in 2000, both times losing to Santa Clara. Last year the BYU team lost to Nebraska in Second Round action. Her many honors include two Coach of the Year honors by the WAC in 1996 and in 2000 by the MWC.
Under Rockwood's tutelage, a long list of All-American soccer players have emerged from BYU's program. Among them are two that are current players of the newly organized Women's United Soccer Association. Maren Hendershot plays for the San Jose Cyberrays and Shauna Rohbock with the San Diego Spirit. Other noteworthy All-Americans include Aleisha Cramer Rose, Staci Reynolds and Michelle Peterson.
During the 2000 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 2000 season, coach Rockwood was 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.
Prior to becoming the head coach, Rockwood led BYU's highly successful club soccer team for six years. In her final two years, she took her teams to first place in the Western National Collegiate Club Soccer Association (NCCSA) championships and to second place in the NCCSA national championships.
The Lake Oswego, Oregon, native was a three-sport athlete in soccer, basketball and track. After one year at Ricks College on a basketball scholarship, she transferred to BYU and was four-year starter at center midfield on the Cougars' club team.
Rockwood has also coached in the Utah ODP , the youth club's and high school levels.
Year W L T Conference
1995 11 8 1 WAC
1996 22 1 0 WAC
1997 19 4 0 WAC
1998 20 5 0 WAC
1999 21 4 0 MWC
2000 19 4 1 MWC
2001 14 7 1 MWC
2002 16 5 0 MWC
142 38 3 (.786)
BYU club team under Rockwood:
128-25-9 (.790), six years (1989-1994)
COUGARS LOVE COUGARS
Several members of the Cougars' soccer team have married members of BYU's other athletic teams. Junior defender Farrah Hofheins-Olmstead is married to Shawn Olmstead, a member of BYU's volleyball team. Terra Smith-Bigelow stole the heart of Mark Bigelow, a star on BYU's basketball team. Senior Jeni Willardson-Viernes likes to kick it around with husband Spencer, who is on the men's soccer club team at BYU. Also of note, freshman midfilder/defender Brooke Thulin has a brother, J.R., who is an offensive lineman for the football team.
DEFENSE GARNERS NATIONAL RECOGNITION
BYU's ability to shutout its opponents is among the best at the national level. The Cougars tied for 18th nationally in shutouts per game last year, holding opponents scoreless in 11 of 22 games for a 0.50 average. BYU has posted three seasons with 11 shutouts (1998, 1999, 2001), while the Cougars' 1996 team holds the school record at 12.