Weekly Release #9: Cougars Face Two Conference Opponents

COUGARS FACE CRUCIAL WEEK OF CONFERENCE PLAY

BYU returns to South Field Thursday, Oct. 24 after a three-week, six-game road trip that found the Cougars a perfect 6-0. Two conference opponents, which both stand at 2-1 in conference play, will challenge BYU's first-place conference position.

Thursday's game will pit BYU against conference opponent UNLV (10-4-1, 2-1-0) at 7 p.m. in Provo. The Cougars are a perfect 4-0 against the Rebels. San Diego State University (10-4-0, 2-1-0) comes to South Field Saturday, Oct. 26 for a 7 p.m. matchup with BYU. The game is the 11th contest between the two teams, which have split the previous 10 matchups 5-5.

Saturday's game will be broadcast live by KBYU/BYU Television, the third such telecast of the season. Soccer broadcaster Kim Free will call the action from South Field with former Cougar standout Natalyn Lewis providing game analysis.

CRAMER-ROSE NAMED TO SOCCER BUZZ NATIONAL ELITE TEAM

Soccer Buzz announced yesterday, Oct. 22, that BYU midfielder/defender Aleisha Cramer-Rose was selected to The National Elite Team from Soccer Buzz. Each week, Soccer Buzz chooses the top 11 performers from Division I teams to compose the National Elite Team.

Below are the comments made by Soccer Buzz about Cramer-Rose.

Aleisha Cramer Rose, BYU, Jr. MF/D

Was Cougars' offensive weapon in identical 3-2 wins over Notre Dame and New Mexico, scoring a crucial PK in both and adding a 30 yard goal off a free kick vs NM.

UP NEXT: BYU FINISHES REGULAR SEASON

In their last home game of the regular season, the Cougars will play a non-conference game against Weber State Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. in Provo. The final match of the regular season pits the Cougars against Utah at 1 p.m. in Salt Lake for BYU's last regular season conference game.

MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE STATISTICS

TEAM CONF. OVERALL

BYU 3-0-0 10-5-0

Utah 2-0-1 9-1-3

SDSU 2-1-0 10-4-0

HOME ATTENDANCE

TEAM G/TOTAL AVG.

BYU 6/7,299 1,217

New Mexico 5/5,127 1,025

UNLV 8/3,510 439

MWC TEAM SEASON HIGHS--SHOTS

BYU 40 vs. St. Mary's (9/27/02)

MWC SEASON HIGHS--INDIVIDUAL

SHOTS

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

Points 4, Aleisha Cramer-Rose (BYU) at New Mexico, 10/17/02

Goals 2, Aleisha Cramer-Rose (BYU) at New Mexico, 10/17/02

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 UNLV

The Rebels are coming off two-consecutive conference overtime wins over Wyoming and Air Force. UNLV has played in four overtime games this year, winning two, losing one and tying one.

Sophomore forward/midfielder Annii Magliulo leads the Rebels with 10 goals and three assists, good for 23 points for the season. UNLV is 2-1-0 in the conference with its lone loss coming at the hands of New Mexico, 1-0.

SCOUTING SDSU

SDSU also had to go to overtime to get a win against Air Force, a 1-0 decision off a goal made 13 seconds into the first overtime period. The Aztecs are 2-1 in conference play, losing 1-0 to New Mexico.

Kim Castellanos, a junior forward from Escondido, Calif., leads SDSU with six goals and six assists. She is followed closely by senior forward Nicole Findlay who has five goals and four assists on the year.

INJURY UPDATE

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

Aleisha Cramer-Rose's deadly accuracy found its mark again as the junior All-American knocked in a penalty kick in the 79th minute to give BYU (10-5-0, 2-0-0) a 3-2 upset over No. 23 Notre Dame in South Bend. With the win, the Cougars extend their winning streak to seven games and finish their six-game road trip a perfect 6-0.

Rose's penalty kick found the lower left corner of the net, breaking a 2-2 tie that had stood for nearly 40 minutes.

The Fighting Irish continually attacked BYU's defense, and Rockwood credited junior defender Annie Hocherl's play as a key factor in the Cougar's win.

Offensively, Jennifer Henry-Fielding sparked the Cougars, scoring two key goals to put BYU up 2-1 at the end of the first half.

After Notre Dame got on the board first with a goal by sophomore Candace Chapman at 6:28, the Cougars evened the score six minutes later on Fielding's crossing shot from the right wing into the left side of the net.

BYU then took a 2-1 lead in the 30th minute when junior Annie Hoecherl centered the ball fromthe right side of the box to Fielding who again found the net for her second goal of the game.

Notre Dame answered in the second half when a 25-yard kick from freshman Katie Thorlakson went through the hands of Cougars keeper Mandy Gott, tying the game at 2-2 in the 52nd minute. Rose then hit the game-winning penalty kick at 79:29.

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.

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.

But four minutes later freshman Brooke Bowman delivered the game winner on a cross from senior Jeni Viernes at 85:08 to give BYU a 3-2 win.

2001 GAME REVIEW: BYU-UNLV

Aleisha Cramer scored twice to help No. 21 BYU defeat UNLV 3-1 in their first Mountain West Conference game of the season. The win improved the Cougars to 7-4-1 and 1-0 in conference play while the loss drops UNLV to 6-4-2.

Even though the Cougars out shot the Rebels 11-5 in the first half, the scored remained tied at 0-0 until Cramer scored her first goal 38 minutes into the game on a penalty kick. UNLV scored less than two minutes later with a penalty kick of their own to tie the game 1-1 heading into the half.

Strong defense by both teams kept the scored tied until the final 12 minutes of play. Hoping to avoid their third consecutive overtime game, Cramer notched her second goal of the night with a nice header off a corner kick from Kelly Hunsberger to put the Cougars up 2-1. Nominated for the Herman Trophy earlier this year, Cramer now has five goals this season and leads the team with 13 points.

Jeni WIlliardson Viernes scored her fourth goal of the season to seal the victory with only five minutes left in regulation off an assist from Jennie Christianson.

2001 GAME REVIEW: BYU-SDSU

Second half goals by Kim Devine and Sarah Higham Yee lifted 21st ranked BYU 3-2 over SDSU in MWC women's soccer action.

The Cougars win keeps the team's MWC record perfect at 2-0, 8-4-1 overall. San Diego State falls to 1-1 in conference action.

Devine broke the 1-1 tie three minutes into the second half of play after teammate Jeni Willardson Viernes shot from 12 yards out. Devine tapped it in after the Aztecs keeper Linnea Quinones tried to save the shot.

Senior midfielder Sarah Higham Yee was in the right place at the right time after All-American Aleisha Cramer shot a cross with several players scrambling to put the ball in the net to seal the BYU win in the 60th minute.

San Diego State made a late surge with Kim Castellanos scoring from six yards out with just five minutes left in the game, but the Cougar defense held on for the win.

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 then travelled to South Bend and defeated No. 23 Notre Dame 3-2 on Oct. 19.

 

The Cougar team spent the first three weeks of October on the road, returning to South Field Thurday, Oct. 24 to face UNLV. The team's itinerary included trips to Washington, Montana, New Mexico and Indiana.

 

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

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.

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 10 5 0 MWC

136 37 3 (.780)

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.

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