Cougars dominate No. 16 Gonzaga 6-1 in opening night of conference play
SPOKANE, Wash. — BYU women’s soccer defeated No. 16 Gonzaga 6-1 in the first West Coast Conference game of the season for both teams Saturday night. The Cougars knocked the Bulldogs out of their eight-game winning streak at home, and scored four goals in the first 14 minutes of the match.
“The girls really stepped up tonight, “ said BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood. “We booked a tough non-conference schedule and have struggled on the road this year, and we wanted to come out and prove to ourselves that we could get off to a good start. I’m really proud of the way we played.”
The Cougars came out forcefully by taking shots early, with a Cameron Tucker attempt three minutes in, but narrowly missed the goal above the crossbar on the right side.
Sophomore Brecken Mozingo collected the first goal of the night in the seventh minute, with the ball landing in the bottom left corner of the net. It was Mozingo’s fourth goal of the season.
Gonzaga took a shot on goal in the eighth minute, but Cassidy Smith was able to make the save. Smith would go on to have three total saves in the contest.
The second goal of the night came from Bella Folino as the ball nicked off the crossbar and went in at 11 minutes. Two minutes later, a left-footed bullet by Mozingo bending inside the right post took the Cougar lead to 3-0.
Tucker scored the fourth goal for the Cougars at the 14 minute mark.
BYU went up 5-0 with Rachel McCarthy finding the back of the net for the 12th goal of her BYU career in the 31st minute.
“It was an unbelievable goal by Rachel tonight, “ Rockwood said. “I think there’s more to come from Rachel this season. She can strike it, and we’ve seen her do it many times. We’re excited to see that from her a few more times in conference play.”
The Zags scored their first and only goal of the night off a penalty kick that flew inside the right post by Haley Archuleta in the final second of the first half.
In the second half, Mikayla Colohan scored a left-footed goal in the 56th minute off an assist from Tucker. Colohan’s goal was No. 43 for her career, and her eighth goal of the season.
“This was a huge game,” Rockwood said. “Obviously, Gonzaga came in ranked and on quite a roll. We wanted to come out and show that we’ve played some challenging teams and challenged ourselves. But, the girls really showed up tonight.”
BYU owned 51 percent of the possession in the game, and outshot Gonzaga 22-14, with a 14-5 advantage in shots on goal. Tonight’s offensive performance by the Cougars resulted in the Bulldogs being outshot by an opponent for the first time this season.
BYU’s next game will be at home on South Field against Saint Mary’s on Wednesday, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. MDT and will be available on the BYU Sports Network -- BYU Radio 107.9 FM/BYU Cougars App and BYUtv.org