By ELIZABETH PALMER
Something happened Saturday night that hasn’t happened in two years, 11 months, and 27 days. The BYU women’s soccer team lost at home. The University of Montana was the culprit, breaking the Cougars 27-game home winning streak.
The Grizzlies came away with a 4-1 win over the Cougars at South Field in Provo.
“They came out ready to play and we didn’t,” BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. “This is a very disappointing loss, probably the worst loss in school history.”
The victory for Montana was the 100th victory for Grizzlies head coach Betsy Duerksen.
“We came out fired up,” Duerksen said.
Montana started the scoring early when freshman midfielder Colleen Joyce hit the ball high into the right corner of the net off an assist from senior forward Sara Overgaag.
The Grizzlies upped the score to 2-0 later in the first half when sophomore midfielder Jodi Campbell scored with a high shot over the goalie.
BYU came out strong in the second half but could only manage one goal, although it outshot the Grizzlies 21 to eight.
“I thought we played well in the second half … (but) for some reason we (couldn’t) find the net,” Rockwood said.
Duerksen said BYU was likely tired from its long week of soccer.
“That was their third game of the week, and they’ve been on the road,” she said.
Montana increased its lead to 4-0 in the second half with another goal by Joyce and one by Karen Hardy.
BYU finally responded with three minutes left in the game when senior forward Shauna Rohbock put the ball in off an assist by sophomore midfielder Natalyn Orchard Lewis.
“The defense didn’t play very well,” Rockwood said.
The 27th and final victory in the winning streak came Friday night when BYU handed Butler University a 7-0 loss, also at South Field.
“Everyone played very well,” Rockwood said. “We did all the things we wanted to do.”
It was a team effort for the Cougars as they had six players score goals.
“We had a lot of different people score (Friday night),” Rockwood said. “That sets a tone for the team.”
The game was still scoreless with ten minutes remaining in the first half, but Athelia Graham broke the stalemate with a shot off a corner kick by Kim Lowe. Lowe’s shot deflected off the Butler defenders to Rohbock, who found Graham for the assist.
Brittany Harlan followed with her first goal, a shot she volleyed in off a pass from Graham.
The Cougars led the game by only two at the half, but they exploded for five goals after the break.
“I think it was the difference in our mentality (in the second half),” Lewis said, who scored two goals in the game. “We came out and did what we needed to do.”
Rockwood said that once the scoring began, the team got pumped.
“I knew it would take a few goals for things to break down for Butler,” she said.
Lewis scored two quick goals to start the second half, assisted by freshman midfielder Sarah Higham and Rohbock.
“I was fed perfectly,” Lewis said. “It was a lucky night. I attribute it to well taped ankles. I told the trainer taping me up I needed to score … and I guess it worked.”
BYU scored three more goals before it was over, with Sarah Reading, Rohbock and Amber Anderson all finding the net.
“As a team I thought we played very well … we were shaky at first but we got it down and took off in the second half,” Higham said.