COUGARS TAKE THREE-GAME WIN STREAK INTO CONFERENCE PLAY
Riding the momentum of a three-game win streak, the BYU women's soccer team opens Mountain West Conference play this week against Air Force and Wyoming. The Cougars head to Colorado Springs, Colo., Thursday to face a 5-7-0 Air Force team at 3 p.m. BYU has never lost to Air Force, holding a 5-0 series lead.
BYU will play its second conference game of the season Saturday, Oct. 12 in Laramie, Wyo., against the Cowgirls. Like Air Force, Wyoming (4-6-1) has never beaten the Cougars, who have won each of the seven matchups between the two teams.
SIX-GAME ROAD TRIP TO END IN NEW MEXICO AND INDIANA
Closing out the fifth and sixth games of its 5,700 mile road trip, the Cougars will head to Albuquerque, N.M., to face the Lobos on Thursday, Oct. 17. A trip out to South Bend, Ind., to face Notre Dame on Oct. 12 will end the road trip and mark the beginning of a three-game homestand for BYU.
BYU PICKED TO WIN CONFERENCE BY MWC COACHES
BYU was selected as the favorite to capture its fourth straight Mountain West Conference title in a preseason vote by the league's coaches.
The Cougars collected a total of 36 points (six first-place votes) to capture the top position in the poll. Utah, which collected the other first-place vote (28 total), was picked to finish second in the ballot, followed by UNLV (22), San Diego State (21) and New Mexico (20). Air Force (14) and Wyoming (6) rounded out the voting as they were picked to finish sixth and seventh, respectively.
BYU, 14-7-1 overall last year, won the 2001 regular-season title with a 5-1 record and captured the conference tournament crown with a 2-1 victory over UNLV. The Cougars advanced to the second round of NCAA Tournament play before falling to Nebraska, 3-0.
Preseason Women's Soccer Coaches' Poll
Pl. Team (1st pl. votes) Points
1. BYU (6) 36
2. Utah (1) 28
3. UNLV 22
4. San Diego State 21
5. New Mexico 20
6. Air Force 14
7. Wyoming 6
SCOUTING AIR FORCE
The Falcons are coming off an exciting, come-from-behind win over UNC-Greensboro, scoring three unanswered goals to win 5-4 on Oct. 4. Air Force's 5-7-0 record includes a 3-3 record at home.
Sophomore Cookie Day, who put in the game winner against UNC-Greensboro in the 86th minute, leads the Falcons with five goals and two assists, good for 12 points. Senior forward Mary Cholko adds experience and her four goals and one assist to the Falcons' attack.
Wyoming notched its fourth win of the season with a 3-1 win against North Texas on Oct. 6 to move to 4-6-1 for the year. The Cowgirls are led by freshman forward Mercy Adetote and sophomore forward Mari Gomes, who both have six points on three goals.
Two others to watch are sophomore midfielder Melissa Bowman and junior forward Tuva Gulbrandsen, both of whom have two goals and an assist on the year.
Sophomore midfielder Aydre Soffe injured her right leg during the Cal State Northridge game, fracturing the tibia. Soffe will not return to the field this season. Aleisha Cramer-Rose is experiencing tendonitis of the shins, an ailment that often feels similar to shin splints.
The Cougars (6-5-0) extended their win streak to three games with a 4-1 defeat over Montana (3-8-0) in Missoula. The win also marks the second-straight victory for BYU on the road, while four road games still await.
BYU scored two goals in each period, with freshman Charlene Lui and senior Jeni Viernes each knocking in scores in the first half to give the Cougars a 2-0 advantage.
Montana answered in the second half with a goal by Grizzly Liz Roberts in the 63rd minute to make the score 2-1.
The Cougars responded eight minutes later, however, when junior forward/midfielder Lydia Ojuka scored her second goal of the season to put BYU up 3-1. Her unassisted goal against Montana marked the second game in a row Ojuka has scored a goal.
With a little over two minutes left in the contest, Kimmie Davis found the net to give BYU a 4-1 lead and the victory. The Cougars own a 5-2 all-time series lead over the Grizzlies.
The BYU women's soccer team came on strong in the second half to win the battle of the Cougars over Washington State of the PAC-10, 3-1. The Cougars are now 2-0 all-time against Washington State, winning their first meeting in Provo during the 2000 season.
BYU struck first 22 minutes into the game as junior forward Terra Smith-Bigelow scored off an assist from Jennifer Henry-Fielding. WSU tied the game 15 minutes later off a goal by Rachel Rodrick, her fourth of the season.
After being out-shot in the first half 9-4, BYU poured on the heat in the second half, out-shooting WSU 10-9 while scoring two goals to seal the win.
2001 GAME REVIEW: BYU-AIR FORCE
BYU scored twice in the first ten minutes of action and never looked back as the battle of first place in the MWC went to the Cougars. They defeated Air Force 7-0 on South Field. The win improves the BYU's record to 9-6-1, 3-1. The loss drops the Falcons to 7-8-1, 2-2 on the season.
Three minutes into the game, freshman Kim Devine started off the scoring barrage with her seventh goal of the season. Speedster sophomore Lydia Ojuka, in only her fourth start this year, scored her first goal of the season ten minutes into the game for a quick 2-0 lead.
Jeni Willardson Viernes scored her sixth goal of the season 27 minutes into the first half off an assist from Jennie Christianson. All-American Aleisha Cramer scored her sixth goal as well off a direct kick just outside the box 35 minutes into the half. Terra Smith joined in the action with her first goal of the season off a header that bounced off an Air Force player and into the net to finish off the Cougar's strongest first half of the year with a 5-0 lead.
BYU added two more goals in the second half as Cramer scored her second goal of the night in the 62nd minute. Freshman Megan Dickerson, playing in only her second game of the season coming off ACL surgery, scored her first career goal with only five minutes left. BYU out-shot Air Force 27-4 in the contest.
2001 GAME REVIEW: BYU-WYOMING
Six different players score in the 6-0 rout over Wyoming in MWC action from South Field. Junior midfielder Kelly Hunsberger got the BYU scoring machine going with her third goal of the year with just 10 minutes left in the first half of action after the Cougars had outshot the Cowgirls 21 to 1.
Defender Aurelin Weidner scored forty seconds into the second half on a cross from senior Sarah Higham Yee. Four other players scored a goal a piece in the next 35 minutes of action to maintain the shutout, the team's second for the week.
Other scores came from Kim Devine, Aleisha Cramer, Jeni W. Viernes and Annie Hoecherl.Two of the six goals (Weidner and A. Hoecherl) were kicked in by the Cougar defense.This was the seventh shutout for the BYU defense anchored by senior goalkeeper Jennifer Waldron.
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 opened the Cougars' season 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 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 USC, which resulted in a 1-0 loss, and then a 6-0 loss to No. 3 UCLA on Sept. 25. The Cougars still have a trip to make to South Bend for a first-ever meeting with Notre Dame.
The Cougar team spends the first three weeks of October on the road, returning to South Field on Oct. 24. The team's itinerary included trips to Washington and Montana, while visits to Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico and Indiana still remain.
In MWC action, the Cougars will spend most of conference play on the road, hosting only UNLV and SDSU. Beginning Nov. 6, by virtue of winning last year's Championships in Las Vegas, BYU hosts this year's Mountain West Conference Championships with the title game scheduled for Sat., Nov. 9. The MWC champion gets an automatic bid into the 2002 NCAA Women's College Cup Championships which begin on Nov. 13.
COUGARS GRAB THIRD CONSECUTIVE MWC TITLE
Complete dominance is the best way to describe BYU's stranglehold on the Mountain West Conference. The Cougars have won both the regular season and tournament titles in the MWC in each of the last three years. After taking care of business during the regular season, going 17-2 in three years of MWC conference play, BYU proved to be the real deal by winning the conference tournament as well.
The 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 title. Last year, UNLV became the next victim in BYU's incredible run, losing 2-1 to the Cougars in the MWC tournament championship game.
For the 2002 season, the conference coaches also voted the Cougars to win the regular season and championship crown.
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 4 5 0 MWC
130 38 3 (.760)
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.
BYU TO HOST 2002 MWC TOURNAMENT
The Cougars will play host to the 2002 Mountain West Conference Championships Nov. 6-9 at South Field in Provo. The following is a breakdown of the three-day tournament. The winner of the Championship receives an automatic bid into the 2002 NCAA Women's College Cup Championships which begin Nov. 13.
OPENING ROUND: Wednesday, Nov. 6
Game 1: No. 4 seed vs. No. 5
Game 2: No. 2 seed vs. No. 7
Game 3: No. 3 seed vs. No. 6
*The No. 1 seed receives a first-round bye.
SEMIFINALS: Thursday, Nov. 7
Game 4: No. 1 seed vs. Game 1 winner
Game 5: Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner
FINALS: Saturday, Nov. 9
Championship game between semifinals winners.