Key WAC matchups await women’s soccer team

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    By ELIZABETH PALMER

    Coming off a successful week on the road, the BYU women’s soccer team looks to maintain its high level of play the next two days.

    First, the Cougars travel to the University of Utah Thursday to battle the Utes. Then Friday, the University of Hawaii comes to town.

    BYU, 9-2 overall, is coming off road victories at California-Berkeley and nationally-ranked Stanford — wins BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood said were huge for her program.

    “(They were) the biggest wins we’ve ever had on the road, perhaps even in the school’s history,” she said.

    After the big wins against nonconference teams, the Cougars open the WAC season in Salt Lake City today with a 4 p.m. contest. Rockwood said her team looks forward to playing the rival Utes.

    “The girls are anxious and excited to play Utah,” she said, “It is always a great game and great competition for us.”

    Although it will be the third game in a week for BYU, senior All-American forward Shauna Rohbock doesn’t think fatigue will be a problem.

    “I’m kind of tired, but I’m sure I’ll get over it,” she said. “It’s Utah — you find the energy somewhere.”

    While she said the team won’t base the whole season on this one game, Rohbock said playing your rival school is always a big deal.

    “You definitely want to win it, or you’ll hear about it,” she said.

    Rockwood said Utah is having its best season ever.

    “They picked up some great recruits who are playing very well for them,” she said. “This game will be very physical, very competitive and both teams will give it all they have.”

    The Utes are 9-2, and have yet to lose a game on their home field.

    The Rainbow Wahine of Hawaii bring a 7-2 record to town Friday, and Rockwood said her team will need to play their best to win.

    “We played a much improved (Hawaii) team last year,” Rockwood said. “This season they’ve had a tremendous start and are playing with a lot of confidence. We need to … stay focused and (we) can’t have any let downs.”

    Rohbock said Hawaii’s program doesn’t have a great history.

    “They haven’t been a very strong team … but you never know. A team can get good recruits,” she said.

    Kickoff Friday is set for 6 p.m. at the South Field in Provo.

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