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First half goals give No. 6 BYU 2-1 win over Portland
PORTLAND, Ore. – Two first half goals were enough for No. 6 BYU women’s soccer to defeat the Portland Pilots 2-1 on Saturday night at Merlo Field.
A deep free kick from midfield by Bizzy Phillips was headed by Portland (4-8-0, 0-2-0), but the attempted clearance was hit right at Elena Medeiros who chested it down and put the ball in the upper right corner of the net from 25 yards out to give BYU (10-1-1, 2-0-0) a 1-0 lead in the 8th minute. The goal is her team-leading fifth of the season.
After Portland scored off an own goal on a cross in the box, another deep free kick from Phillips found Nadia Gomes whose first shot was blocked. Gomes kept her second attempt low and at the right post for the Cougars’ second goal of the first half in the 41st minute.
"What a great performance by our girls," BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. "We kind of settled down and Elena put away a nice one. We challenged the girls to be a little more physical and to win balls earlier."
In the second half, BYU put early pressure on the Pilots equalling their first half shot total in the first six minutes of the second half. The Cougars finished the game with 16 shots, four on goal, while the Pilots managed four shots, two on goal. BYU also earned six corner kicks to Portland’s one.
Gomes led the Cougars with five shots, putting two on goal. Michele Murphy Vasconcelos took four shots with one on goal. Medeiros had the other shot on goal and took three shots. Madie Lyons was the only other Cougar with multiple shots, attempting two in her second straight start.
BYU goalkeeper Rachel Boaz only needed to make one save on the night, but darted out of the six to snuff out a late scoring chance for the Pilots in the final five minutes.
BYU returns to Provo for the WCC home opener against San Diego on Friday, Oct. 9, at 7 p.m. MDT. The game will be broadcast on BYUtv and can be heard on the Cougar IMG Sports Network, ESPN 960, BYU Radio and Sirius XM 143.
No. 6 Cougars begin WCC play at Gonzaga, Portland
PROVO, Utah – No. 6 BYU women’s soccer begins its title defense of the past three West Coast Conference championships with a two-game road trip to the Pacific Northwest.
The Cougars (8-1-1) open WCC play against Gonzaga (1-5-4) on Thursday, Oct. 1 at 4 p.m. PDT. The game can be seen on TheW.tv and will be broadcast on the Cougar IMG Sports Network, ESPN 960 AM, BYU Radio and on Sirius XM 143.
On Saturday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. PDT, BYU faces Portland (4-6-0) at Merlo Field. The game will also be seen on TheW.tv and can be heard on the Cougar IMG Sports Network, ESPN 960 AM, BYU Radio and Sirius XM 143.
BYU comes off a week where they tied Cal Poly 1-1 on the road before beating Long Beach State 2-1 on Saturday to close out the nonconference schedule. Michele Murphy Vasconcelos was named WCC Player of the Week for her two assists against the 49ers.
To this point of the season, BYU’s defense is one of the top defenses in the nation. The Cougars are second in save percentage, third in goals against average and seventh in shutout percentage. The offense has been productive as well. BYU is ninth in the nation in shots and Hermann Trophy candidate Ashley Hatch leads the nation in shots. Overall, the 8-1-1 record is the 13th highest winning percentage in the nation to go along with several top 10 rankings and holding on to the No. 4 spot in the RPI.
Gonzaga has only beat Cal State Bakersfield so far this season and has found three of its ties at home. The Bulldogs did draw with Cal State Fullerton, Utah State and Washington over the past few weeks. They lost to Memphis in overtime on Saturday. Gonzaga has been outscored 7-1 in the first half this season, but has still found a way to get six games into overtime.
Portland has won two games in a row after starting the season 1-4-0. The Pilots have beat Marquette, UC Irvine, Washington State and Denver, while they lost to major conference teams Washington, Illinois, Michigan, Notre Dame and Oregon State.