By Loni Ekins
“Shutout” was the word of the weekend for the BYU women”s soccer team. The Cougars held University of Arizona and Boston University scoreless (2-0 and 4-0, respectively) on their home field this weekend.
BYU played in front of over 1,000 fans both nights and held up its end of the bargain to provide excitement.
“This was the strongest opening we”ve had all season. We were mentally prepared from the start,” head coach Jennifer Rockwood said of Friday”s match against Arizona. “We switched up a few positions and I was very pleased with our overall performance.”
Sophomore Aydre Soffe started things off with a score 28 minutes into the game giving BYU a 1-0 halftime lead. All-American Aleisha Cramer scored her first goal of the season only five minutes into the second half on a penalty kick.
“We were pumped up to play, we played hard and we played as a team,” Cramer said. “It was a whole team effort. Everyone that comes in off the bench gives us a boost. It raises the level and doesn”t bring it down. In fact, when someone comes off the bench, we almost always score.”
Senior goalkeeper Jennifer Waldron recorded her fifth shutout of the year with great help from her defenders. The Cougars out-shot the Wildcats 20 to seven.
Rockwood would have liked the team to score more but is pleased overall.
“We controlled the ball really well, we just couldn”t get some of the shots to fall for us,” Rockwood said. “We would have liked to have gotten a few more goals, but they didn”t come for us, but we still finished strong.”
Same place, same story. Saturday, September 29, BYU hosted Boston University where they once again out-shot the opponent 27 on-goal shots to three.
The first half of the game was scoreless with a few near misses and saves.
However, the halftime pep talk turned, the tide as BYU exploded by scoring three goals in less than five minutes.
Senior Jennie Christianson started the rally with a score at 36:15 in the second half. Cramer followed with a header at 34:16 and junior Jeni Willardson Viernes also netted one at 37:08.
“Coach said we were playing great but we have to put the ball in the net. It”s a 0-0 tie, we are out playing this team and they don”t deserve to play with us but if we don”t put them away it doesn”t matter,” Viernes said of Rockwood”s halftime talk.
Rockwood said she told the team to keep doing what they were doing but to just put forth a little more effort.
“Although we kind of dominated the play, it only takes one shot and we could be behind. So I said just give a little more intensity and a little more desire to get the ball in the back of the net,” Rockwood said she told the team.
Rockwood complimented the play of freshman Kim Devine who scored the Cougars” final goal of the game with 26:56 left to play.
Key players Viernes and Cramer cited some improvements but were pleased with the team effort after the half and on the weekend as a whole.
“Our intensity needed to be better in the first half, our warm up needs to be better too,” Viernes said. “In the second half everyone was looking to take shots instead of looking to pass off the ball.”
“We didn”t capitalize on our opportunities in the first half, and in the second half we had more on-the-frame shots and more high-quality shots,” Cramer said. “A major strength of our team is our bench coming in and giving us a boost and we played hard and as a team all weekend.”
BYU is now 6-2-1 this season with a big weekend coming up against Virginia and Wake Forest.