PROVO, Utah – In the last home game of the regular season, the No. 5 BYU women’s soccer team improved its season record to 16-1-1 after a 5-0 victory over Saint Mary’s on Saturday afternoon.
“At this time of the year, every game is more and more important,” head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. “We were pushing for the win, so I’m proud of the girls in the way they came out strong. The seniors were a big part of what we were able to accomplish today and have been vital for us the last four years.”
At the beginning of Saturday’s game, eight seniors were recognize for their contributions to the team throughout their careers.
With the win against Saint Mary’s, the Cougars improve their record to 5-0-1 in the West Coast Conference and are in first place in the league standings. The win also marks the Cougar’s eighth shutout win of the year.
The Gael’s fall to 6-10-2 overall and 1-5-0 in the WCC.
The first goal of the day came 12 minutes in from Cloee Colohan off of an assist from Michele Murphy from the left side of the box. Colohan came from the midfield to the center of the box to receive the ball for the score. It was Colohan’s fourth goal of the season and fourth goal in the last three games.
The Cougars continued to have good looks throughout the next 20 minutes of play, several of which were one-on-one situations with the Gaels goalie. Meanwhile, Saint Mary’s struggled to move the ball into BYU territory with zero shots on goal after 35 minutes. The Gael’s first shot came with six minutes to go in the half from Melinda Madden but BYU goalie Erica Owens prevented the goal.
With two minutes to go in the first half, BYU struck again off of pass combination between Kyleigh Royall and Jessica Ringwood. Royal had the ball near the corner of the Gael’s territory, juked a Gael defender and crossed the ball to the far post where Ringwood buried it in the left corner of the net.
Saint Mary’s Madden had one more shot on goal in the final second of the half, but Owens deflected the ball out of bounds.
The Cougars led the Gaels 2-0 going into the half.
BYU scored goal number three after just four minutes of action in the second half. Cami Jensen centered the ball to Carlee Payne Holmoe who turned and shot on goal. The ball knocked off the bottom of the cross bar into the goal. Immediately following the Cougar’s goal, the Gaels took the ball deep into Cougar territory and fired three shots on goal but were unable to finish due to great saves by Owens.
Marissa Nimmer scored goal number four for BYU 20 minutes into the second half, her second goal of the season. Murphy took the ball from the midfield and crossed it to Nimmer who was all alone outside the box and ready to fire on goal from 18 yards out.
Goal number five came from Kayla Varner, who had come off the bench only 45 seconds before. This marked Varner’s first goal of the season. Jensen was credited with the assist.
The Gaels went on to get four more shots on goal before time expired.
Next week, the Cougars head to California for their last two league games of the regular season against LMU on Nov. 1 and No. 18 Pepperdine on Nov. 3. The games will begin at 3 p.m. PDT and 1 p.m. PDT, respectively.