PROVO, Utah – No. 4 BYU women’s soccer struck early and often in the Cougars’ 6-0 win over the Gonzaga on senior night for its fifth-straight West Coast conference title.
"It's such an amazing group of seniors," BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. "I'm so proud of what they've done for this program. You couldn't ask for a better ending to the regular season than this. We knew we had the chance to play for a championship and this is what we worked for all year."
It was all offense for BYU (16-2-1, 7-1-1 WCC) from the beginning as the Cougars scored three goals in the first 19 minutes.
The Cougars scored first in the 12th minute on a Paige Hunt Barker shot after a Gonzaga foul. Nadia Gomes earned the assist with her own shot on goal, but Bulldog goalkeeper Sarah Swanson bobbled the ball. Barker came in and sent it to the back of the net, recording her second goal of the season.
Six minutes later, Gomes worked a two-on-one and sent a cross Michele Vasconcelos’ way, who tapped it in for the second goal of the night. Vasconcelos has scored a goal in five straight games.
Moments after her first goal, Vasconcelos found the back of the net again in the 19th minute, putting BYU up 3-0. Assists credited to Elena Medeiros and Barker set Vasconcelos up for her 14th goal of the season.
"(Michele) is an unbelievable player and person," Rockwood said. "She's a team captain and a leader on and off the field. She's huge to the success of this program for five years, especially this year. Not many people can leave a sport with five conference championships and we have two girls that have been a part of them."
In the 54th minute, Gomes sent a 30-yard shot from the right side of the box to the inside of the far post, providing the Cougars’ fifth goal of the night and Gomes’ sixth goal of the season.
After a foul in the box, Ashley Hatch took a penalty kick in the 72nd minute. She drilled the ball to the left side of the net. It brushed through the hands of Swanson for the Cougars' sixth and final goal of the night.
Five of the six seniors took the field Saturday night and three scored goals.
BYU shared the WCC title with Pepperdine, who also went 7-1-1 in league play.
The NCAA tournament selection show will be Monday, Nov. 7 at 4:30 p.m. EST. It can be streamed on NCAA.com.
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