SIX-GAME ROAD TRIP WRAPS UP WITH NEW MEXICO, #23 NOTRE DAME
The Cougars wrap up their six-game road swing with games against conference opponent New Mexico and #23 Notre Dame. BYU has won five in a row, four of those coming away from Provo, and is 2-0-0 in conference play.
The Cougars and the Lobos will square off Oct. 17 at 6 p.m. in Albuqerque in a meeting of two of the three leaders in the conference. New Mexico is also 2-0-0 in conference play, while its season record stands at 9-5-0. BYU holds a 5-2-1 series lead against UNM. Lobo keeper Kristen Winters was named MWC Player of the Week this week for posting two shutouts last week and six for the season.
BYU heads to South Bend, Ind., for a 7 p.m. tilt with the No. 23-ranked Fighting Irish on Oct. 19 in the first-ever meeting of the two teams. Notre Dame is 3-3-0 in conference competition and 8-6-0 overall.
UP NEXT: HOME SWEET HOME
The Cougars return home to play conference foes UNLV and San Diego State after having played six games on the road. UNLV comes to Provo Oct. 24 for a 7 p.m. match with BYU, and SDSU visits South Field Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. in a KBYU/BYU Television live broadcast.
MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE STATISTICS
TEAM CONF. OVERALL
Utah 2-0-0 9-1-2
BYU 2-0-0 8-5-0
New Mexico 2-0-0 9-5-0
TEAM G/TOTAL AVG.
BYU 6/7,299 1,217
New Mexico 3/2,183 728
Utah 6/2,566 428
MWC TEAM SEASON HIGHS--SHOTS
BYU 40 vs. St. Mary's (9/27/02)
MWC SEASON HIGHS--INDIVIDUAL
Brooke Bowman (BYU) 9 vs. St. Mary's (9/27/02)
MWC CONFERENCE HIGHS--TEAM
Points 13, BYU (at Air Force, 10/10/02)
Goals 5, BYU (at Air Force, 10/10/02)
Assists 3, BYU (at Air Force, 10/10/02)
MWC CONFERENCE HIGHS--INDIVIDUAL
Assists 1, Jennifer Fielding (BYU) at Air Force, 10/10/02
Shots 7, Jeni Viernes (BYU) at Wyoming, 10/12/02
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 NEW MEXICO
BYU, New Mexico and Utah are all tied for first place in the MWC standings after the first week of conference play, all with 2-0-0 records. New Mexico was the only MWC team to beat the Cougars last year, scoring a 1-0 victory over BYU.
New Mexico's keeper Kristen Winters is this week's MWC Player of the Week for posting shutouts against SDSU and UNLV. The sophomore has six shutouts on the season.
Another Lobo to watch is junior Erchen Theys, who has scored five goals and notched four assists this season to lead New Mexico with 14 points. Last year, Theys scored the lone goal against the Cougars to lead UNM to a 1-0 upset victory.
SCOUTING #23 NOTRE DAME
Like the Cougars, Notre Dame has faced stiff competition this season, facing the likes of Kentucky, Santa Clara and Portland. This week, Notre Dame plays Michigan before facing the Cougars on Saturday.
Junior forward Amy Warner headlines the Irish attack, recording eight goals and five assists this season. Another top player is junior forward Amanda Guertin, who has dished out seven assists while knocking in five goals.
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.
LAST WEEK'S GAME RECAPS
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.
The BYU women's soccer team opened up conference play strong with a 5-1 victory over Air Force.
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.
2001 GAME REVIEW: BYU-NEW MEXICO
In their MWC home opener of the 2001 season, No. 20 BYU lost to New Mexico 1-0 in front over 1,000 fans. Both teams played to a scoreless first half, but, two minutes into the second half, New Mexico's Erchen Theys scored the lone goal of the game.
The Lobos focused on defense the rest of the contest, yet BYU's offense had several scoring opportunities as it out-shot New Mexico 28-5 for the game.
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 No. 20 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 No. 23 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 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 8 5 0 MWC
134 37 3 (.770)
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.