For the second game of conference play, BYU women’s soccer faces No. 12 Pepperdine Saturday at 1 p.m. on South Field.
Head coach Jennifer Rockwood said Pepperdine is a great team, but she thinks BYU is ready for the competitive challenge.
“Pepperdine has had a fantastic year and is probably coming in with a lot of confidence,” Rockwood said. “They are undefeated and have played a very challenging schedule so we are glad that we get them at home. I have been really pleased with our practices and think that is great as we head into a really challenging weekend.”
Junior forward Carlee Payne agreed Pepperdine is an outstanding team and views the upcoming game as a great opportunity for BYU.
“Pepperdine is an amazing team and they have had a great season so far,” Payne said. “They are ranked really high so this is an awesome opportunity for us to put our name back on the board and get more recognition. It will be a good game and it is a good experience for our team to play such a great team.”
Confidence is key for Saturday’s match, according to Rockwood, and she believes the team has the confidence needed to win.
“Confidence plays a huge role and I believe the girls are as confident as they have been all year,” Rockwood said. “We have had some ups and downs but that is what the preseason is for.”
Although Rockwood is confident in the Cougars, she said they will have to execute crucial aspects of the game.
“We need to come out solid defensively and understand the system that we are playing against,” Rockwood said. “A lot of teams coming into conference play are familiar with their opponents because they play them year in and year out, but this is new for us.”
Along with having a solid defense, Rockwood considers offensive execution in front of the goal another important factor in winning.
“A key thing is finishing on the opportunities that you have,” Rockwood said. “Some games you have a lot of shots and sometimes you only have three or four. Conference games usually come down to slim margins so we want to take advantage of the opportunities we create.”
Pepperdine is off to its best start of its season since 2002, when it started 10-0-2, and is currently ranked No. 12.
Their power forward, Anisa Guajardo, leads the team in goals, scoring eight so far this season.
Fans who aren’t able to make it to the game can watch it live on BYUtv or online at byutv.org/live.