Pair of Pac-12 road games this week
PROVO, Utah - The BYU women's soccer team will play a pair of Pac-12 road games this week beginning on Thursday, Aug. 23, at Arizona at 7 p.m. PT and ending on Saturday, Aug. 25, at in-state rival Utah at 1 p.m. MT.
BYU returns seven starters in 2011 All-American and Hermann Trophy Candidate Lindsi Lisonbee Cutshall, Scholar All-American Carlee Payne Holmoe, seniors Jessica Ringwood, Ashley Bazzarone and Dana Oldroyd Cusick, and juniors Rachel Manning and Niki Fernandes.
Arizona is coming off a 2-1 season-opening loss to then-No. 18 Long Beach State, a team BYU will play on Aug. 30 at home. The Cougars and Wildcats have met 11 times before with BYU leading the series 9-1-1.
The Wildcats were picked to finish in last place in the 2012 Pac-12 Preseason Poll after tough 2010 and 2011 seasons. They return all seven goal scorers in juniors Jazmin Ponce, Ana-Maria Montoya, Susana Melendez and Jessica Culver, sophomores LeeAndra Smith and Brie DeFelice, and senior Alex Smith. Montoya recently returned from playing for team Colombia in the Olympics.
Fans can follow Thursday's game against Arizona through a live stats link available on the Wildcats' schedule page.
The Utah Utes dropped their season opener to Utah State in a 1-0 decision and will play one more game, against Southern Utah, before meeting BYU on Saturday. The Cougars and Utes have a long tradition of soccer between them. BYU leads the overall series 18-5-1.
In 2010 the Utes finished 10-10-2 but were able to turn things around just a bit in 2011. After a tough start, the team went 6-5-0 in league play and finished in fifth place. This season, they’ve been chosen to finish eighth in the 2012 Preseason Poll with top returning scorers McKel Wall and Harley Spier leading the attack.