Weekly Release #7 - Conference Play Begins

Conference Play Begins

The defending Mountain West Conference Champion BYU women's soccer team (8-3-1) opens conference play this week with home games against New Mexico (1-5-3) on Thursday and Air Force (5-5-1) on Saturday.

The No. 17 Cougars are the only team in MWC history to win any of the regular season championships and tournament championships, standing atop of the conference for four-straight years.

The No. 17 Cougars come into Thursday's game with a 4-3-1 all-time record against the Lobos, including a 5-1 win in last year's MWC Tournament Championship game.

New Mexico has struggled to get into the win column tallying three goals on 83 shots for the year. The Lobos lone victory came against Idaho back on Sept. 21.

Air Force is coming off a 1-0 loss to Montana last week and will be facing Utah on Thursday before heading to Provo for Saturday's game.

The Falcons have never beaten the Cougars as BYU holds a 5-0 all-time record against Air Force and has outscored the Falcons 25-2 over those five games.

BYU enters conference play coming off a 2-1 upset of No. 14 USC on Friday that game head coach Jennifer Rockwood her 150th career win and improved the Cougars to 3-1-1 against top-25 teams this season.

Game time has been changed for the Cougars and Lobos with Kickoff set for 6:00 p.m. (MDT) on Thursday, Oct. 9, to accommodate fans with the football game.

The Last Time

BYU defeated New Mexico 5-1 in the championship game of the MWC Tournament, to claim its fourth-consecutive title. Jeni Viernes got things started when she stole the ball from the Lobo keeper and push it into the open net. 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. Viernes scored her second goal as Cramer-Rose centered to Viernes from the deep left corner, with Viernes then heading the ball in the net. 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.

In the opening game of conference play last season, BYU defeated Air Force 5-1. 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. 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.

Last Game: No. 14 USC

The Cougars defeated the No. 14 USC Trojans 2-1 at South Stadium, and improved to 3-1-1 against top-25 teams on the season. The win was extra sweet for BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood as it was her 150th career-win, making her the first Mountain West Conference coach to reach the 150-win plateau. For the majority of the first period, the Trojans and Cougars fought an even battle with BYU gaining the edge in the 23rd minute when sophomore Brooke Thulin struck her first goal of the season. Thulin, who got the start in Friday night's game in place of the injured Jaime Rendich, scored on an open goal when USC's Julie Peterson stepped up to make the stop. Peterson missed the ball and Thulin tapped it in to put the Cougars up 1-0. Minutes later, following a USC free kick, the Trojan's Kelly Blais found the back of the Cougar net to even the score at one apiece. Cougar freshman Annie Zwahlen delivered the final blow to the 14th-ranked Trojans as she teamed up with senior Terra Begelow for the game-winning goal in the final two minutes of the game.

150 And Counting

In Friday, Oct. 3, Coach Jennifer Rockwood earned her 150th career-win as the Cougars defeated No. 14 USC 2-1 at South Stadium. Rockwood became the first Mountain West Conference coach to reach the 150 win plateau and currently ranks eighth among active Division I coaches. She is also the first MWC to reach 100 wins

Living Live

For the remainder of the 2003 season, all Cougar home games will have Live Stats available online at www.byucougars.com/soccer_w by simply clicking on the 2003 schedule and then selecting the appropriate "Live Stat" link with the corresponding game. Live Stats provides an opportunity for those who cannot be at South Stadium to still follow and enjoy BYU Women's Soccer.

Tops of the NCAA

Category No. Name Actual

Assists in one game 2 Aleisha Rose 4

Assists per game 4 Aleisha Rose 0.75/game

Shutout Percentage 39 BYU 0.50 (six of 12)

Tops of the Mountain West

Category No. Name Actual

Shots/game 1 BYU 16.75/game

Points/game 1 BYU 6.25/game

Goals/game 1 BYU 2.00/game

Assists/game 1 BYU 2.25/game

GAA/game 2 BYU 0.80/game

GA/game 2 BYU 0.83/game

Shutout percentage 1 BYU 0.50 total

Corners/game 1 BYU 8.00/game

Attendance 1 BYU 1,402/game

Home Attendance 1 BYU 1,681/game

Individual No. Name Actual

Shots/game T-1 Lydia Ojuka 2.83/game

Points T-2 Jaime Rendich 13 total

T-2 Aleisha Rose 13 total

Goals T-4 Lydia Ojuka 4 total

T-4 Jaime Rendich 4 total

Game-winning goals T-2 Lydia Ojuka 2 total

T-2 Annie Zwahlen 2 total

T-2 Jaime Rendich 2 total

Assists 1 Aleisha Rose 9 total

Assists/game 1 Aleisha Rose 0.75/game

Assists in one game 1 Aleisha Rose 4 total

Shutouts 1 Ashley Smith 4 total

Shutout Percentage 1 BYU 0.50 (six of 12)

GAA 2 Ashley Smith 0.81 in 782:20

The Assist Queen

Senior All-American Aleisha Rose tallied four assists against Southern Utah on Setp. 8, setting a new BYU school record and South Stadium record for most assists in a single game. The previous record of three assists was shared by Natalyn Lewis, Athelia Graham and Shauna Rohbock. With her assist on Terra Bigelow's goal in the 52nd minute against SUU, Rose became the No. 1 all-time career assist leader at BYU, passing Michelle J. Peterson who set the mark in 2000 with 38 career assists.

Ranking Or No Ranking

The Cougars are 3-1-1 against opponents ranked in the top 25 this season. BYU defeated No. 7 Tennessee 1-0, No. 14 Kentucky 2-1, and tied No. 17 Michigan 0-0 in double overtime. No. 2 Florida defeated the Cougars 3-2 in overtime for their only loss to a ranked team. At home the Cougars are 1-1-1 and 1-0-0 on the road with the lone road game being against Kentucky.

Rose On Hermann Trophy Watch List

Three-time All-American senior Aleisha Rose, of the BYU women's soccer team, was named to the Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy watch in late August. The M.A.C.'s Hermann Trophy is college soccer's equivalent to the Heisman Trophy and represents the highest level of individual achievement in the sport.

Rose, a preseason All-American, is one of 15 athletes who make up the watch list that includes the top Division I athletes in the country. Past recipients include some of the biggest names in soccer, such as Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly, Shannon MacMillan, Cindy Parlow, Claudio Reyna, Tony Meola and Alexi Lalas.

Rose Named Preseason All-America

In August, Soccer America announced its 2003 preseason All-Americans, and heading up the list is three-time All-American senior Aleisha Rose of the BYU women's soccer team.

Rose, a native of Lakewood, Colo., is one of the most decorated athletes to ever play for the Cougars and has been an integral part to the team's success the past three seasons.

Rose is one of 11 athletes that makes up the 2003 Soccer America preseason All-American list.

Cougar Awards in 2003

National

Preseason All-American - Aleisha Rose

Hermann Trophy candidate - Aleisha Rose

Soccer Buzz Elite Team of the Week:

- Midfielder, Aleisha Rose 9/16

Soccer America Team of the Week:

- Defender, Claire Thomas 9/8

- Midfielder, Aleisha Rose 9/16

Conference

Offensive Player of the Week - Aleisha Rose 9/15

Defensive Player of the Week - Nicole Jensen 9/2

Claire Thomas 9/8

Cougar Awards in 2002

National

NSCAA ALL-AMERICAN: Aleisha Cramer-Rose, 2nd Team

NSCAA All-West Region: Aleisha Cramer-Rose, 1st Team; Jeni Viernes, 1st Team; Brooke Bowman, 3rd Team

SOCCER BUZZ ALL-AMERICAN: Aleisha Cramer-Rose, 3rd Team; Brooke Bowman, Freshman 3rd Team

SOCCER BUZZ ALL-WEST REGION: Aleisha Cramer-Rose, 1st Team; Jeni Viernes, 1st Team; Brooke Bowman, All-Freshman Team

Conference

MWC PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Jeni Viernes

MWC FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Brooke Bowman

MWC FIRST TEAM: Aleisha Cramer-Rose, Jeni Viernes, Brooke Bowman

MWC SECOND TEAM: Annie Hoecherl, Charlene Lui

MWC TOURNAMENT MVP: Jeni Viernes

MWC TOURNAMENT TEAM: Aleisha Cramer-Rose, Jeni Viernes, Jennifer Fielding-Henry, Brooke Bowman

MWC ACADEMIC ALL-CONFERENCE: Brooke Bowman, Aleisha Cramer-Rose, Jennifer Fielding-Henry, Katherine Gabbart, Britney Holman, Charlene Lui, Terra Smith-Bigelow, Jeni Viernes

Standing Room Only

A record crowd packed into South Stadium on Friday, Sept. 5 to watch the Cougars take on the No. 7 Tennessee Lady Vols. The game drew a standing-room-only crowd with 2,758 fans in attendance, breaking the old record of 2,191 set one week earlier in the season opener against No. 17 Michigan. That mark fell once again as 2,412 fans were on hand to watch No. 2 Florida and BYU battled to a 3-2 overtime Gator win on Sept. 26.

South Stadium

For the past eight years South Stadium, formerly South Field, has been the battlefield for the Cougars as they have taken on, and defeated, the top teams in their conference and in the NCAA. The Cougars have amassed a 78-13-2 (.858) record at home, a record that is among the best in the nation over the same time period.

Of those 78 home-game wins, an outstanding 43 have ended in a shutout. The Cougars consistently hold their opponents scoreless when playing at South Stadium with 55.84 percent of all their games ending in shutout victories, while BYU has been shutout only five times in the stadium's history.

The Stadium's crowds consistently rank in the top 15 in the NCAA for the largest crowds in the country. With an average attendance of 1,075 fans during the 2002 campaign, the Cougars had the 15th largest attendance average in the country making South Stadium one of the toughest places for opponents to play in college today.

The Rockwood File

In only eight short years, head coach Jennifer Rockwood has taken the BYU women's soccer team to national prominence and established herself as one of the premier coaches in Division I soccer today.

Rockwood currently ranks eighth in winning percentage among active NCAA coaches with an impressive 142-39-3 (.780) overall record for her career, with the likes of Anson Dorrance, John Walker, Chris Petrucelli, Becky Burleigh and Clive Charles being the only coaches ahead of her. Over the last seven seasons, Rockwood has averaged 18.85 wins per year, an average that has her ranked second behind only Anson Dorrance of North Carolina.

In eight years as head coach, Rockwood has guided the Cougars to five conference championships. After going undefeated in conference play and winning their fourth straight Mountain West Conference title last season, the Cougars managed to remain the only team to win the conference title in the history of the MWC.

On the national scene, Rockwood and her teams have made six consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament and reached the "Sweet Sixteen" in 1998 and 2000. Under the watch of Rockwood, the Cougars have also had seven consecutive top-25 finishes including last season's No. 23 finish.

Among the many achievements and awards she has received over her career, Rockwood has been honored with two Coach of the Year citations, one by the Western Athletic Conference in 1996, and then by the MWC in 2000. She also became the first MWC coach to eclipse the 100-win total mark when the Cougars shutout Milwaukee-Wisconsin 2-0 on Sept. 23, 2000.

Under Rockwood's tutelage, a long list of All-American soccer players has emerged from BYU's program. These athletes include Aleisha Rose, Jeni Viernes, and Michelle Jensen. Among the players who have been coached by Rockwood are four athletes that were drafted by the women's United Soccer Association: Shauna Rohbock, Maren Hendershot, Sara Reading, and Staci Reynolds.

Prior to becoming the head coach, Rockwood led BYU's highly successful club soccer team for seven years. In that time she amassed an overall record of 128-25-9, and in the final two years she took her teams to the Western National Collegiate Club soccer Association (NCCSA) title and placed second in the NCCSA National Championships.

The Lake Oswego, Ore. native was a three-sport athlete in college playing soccer, basketball, and track. After one year at Ricks College on a basketball scholarship, she transferred to BYU where she became a four-year starter at center midfield on the Cougars' club soccer team. Rockwood has also coached in the Utah ODP, youth club programs, and at the high school level.

ROCKWOOD, YEAR-BY-YEAR

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 6 0 MWC

2003 7 3 1 MWC

Total 149 42 4 (.830)

BYU club team under Rockwood:

128-25-9 (.790), six years (1989-1994)

ROCKWOOD AMONG COACHING ELITE

Rockwood currently ranks eighth in winning percentage among active NCAA Division I coaches with an impressive 142-39-3 (.780) overall record for her career. Anson Dorrance, John Walker, Chris Petrucelli, Becky Burleigh and Clive Charles are the only coaches ahead of her. Over the last seven seasons, Rockwood has averaged 18.85 wins per year, an average that has her ranked second behind only Anson Dorrance of North Carolina.

Fresh Faces

This season's incoming class of Cougar freshman can be expected to make strong contributions to the team, with five of the nine recruits hailing from Utah.

With the loss of some key defenders from last year's squad, expect freshmen Claire Thomas, and Nicole Jensen to make an immediate impact for BYU.

Jensen was a 2002 All-State selection out of Denver, CO, and Thomas was a 2002 and 2003 Barons All-Tournament Team selection as well as a 2002 second-team All-Palomar athlete, and joins the team at 16 years of age.

Among the Utah athletes headed to BYU is the 5A MVP in 2002 Elizabeth Affleck (redshirting the 2003 season) out of Alta High School and the two-time 4A MVP Courtney Asay from Mountain View High School.

The Cougars' incoming class ranks along side with the best classes the school has ever had. Affleck and Bobbi Tillotson were both members of the 5A State Championship Alta High School, and Asay, Haylee Cuthbert, and Ali Williams all played for the three-time 4A State Championship Mountian View Bruins.

Home Sweet Home

The 2003 regular schedule is set to be one of the best home game schedules in school history. The Cougars will be playing 13 of their 19 regular season games at South Stadium. Highlighting this season's home schedule will be three teams that finished in the 2002 NSCAA top-25: No. 11 Michigan, No. 10 Tennessee, and No. 22 USC. BYU will also host four teams that are ranked in the NSCAA preseason top-25: No. 14 Tennessee, No. 17 Michigan, No. 19 USC and No. 21 Florida.

In the past home field advantage has paid great dividends for the Cougars as the team has amassed an impressive 61-10-1 record at home. In the those games BYU has managed to shut out its opponent 38 times, while losing only four games in a shutout.

Also included in the home schedule is the 1998 NCAA Championship team, Florida, as well as in-state rivals Southern Utah, Weber State, and Utah. The Cougars and Utes will face-off in the final regular season home game for BYU on Nov. 1 at South Stadium.

With seven teams on the regular season schedule that qualified for the 2002 NCAA Tournament, this year's schedule promises to be one of the most competitive seasons for the Cougars who finished No. 23 in the NSCAA final rankings last year and are No. 24 in the NSCAA preseason poll.

Cougars Picked Second in MWC preseason

The Mountain West Conference announced its 2003 preseason poll Monday with the league's coaches selecting BYU to finish second behind Utah.

One point and one vote separated the Cougars and the Utes in the voting, with BYU totaling 33 points and three first place votes, while Utah grabbed 34 points with four first place votes.

For the 2003 season BYU returns eight starters and 11 letterwinners while the Utes return six starters and 14 letterwinners.

MWC Preseason Coaches' Poll

Pl. Team (1st pl. votes) Points

1. Utah (4) 34

2. BYU (3) 33

3. New Mexico 26

4. UNLV 19

5. San Diego State 18

6. Air Force 9

7. Wyoming 8

Four-straight MWC Titles

With a 2-1 win over Utah in the final game of the regular season, BYU ensured itself a fourth-straight MWC Regular Season Championship.

The Cougars first goal of the game came in the 41st minute on a header by sophomore forward/midfielder Kimmie Davis. 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. Utah's only goal came on a penalty kick by Ute forward Shauna Gurr-Bingham.

Going into the MWC Tournament the Cougars earned a first-round bye before defeating San Diego State 9-2 in the second-round. The win advanced BYU to the championship game where they came out on top of New Mexico 5-1, winning their fourth consecutive MWC Championship title.

To date, the Cougars remain the only team in the MWC to ever win the either conference crown.

Injury Update

Senior Aydre Soff tore her meniscus in practice on Sept. 4, and is done for her career. Freshman goalkeeper Meredith Simmons is out for the season due to a torn MCL she suffered in practice Sept. 3 . Sophomore midfielder Brooke Bowman has a sprained MCL and will be out 4-6 weeks and is now being redshirted.

Practive and Interviews

Practice is held weekdays from 2:15-4:30 on Haws Field. Interviews with Coach Rockwood and/or members of the Cougar soccer team are schedules through the BYU Athletic Media Relations office. To schedule an interview, Please contact Jason Wells at (801) 422-8999 or by

e-mail at soccer_sid@byu.edu.