By Othello Richards
BYU”s women”s soccer team is not only showing signs of improvement, but it is also showing signs of offense.
Prior to the weekend play on their home field, hosting Utah State, the University of Utah and Southern Utah University, the Cougars were able to muster up only three goals in six games, though they consistently out-shot their opponents.
According to coaches and athletes, this was attributed to the team members” little experience playing together following the departure of several key senior players.
At their tournament on Friday, April 5, the ball entered the opponents” goal six times, with BYU scoring five in a row in their last two games.
“I think we came together as a team,” head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. “We had a great week of practice. Everyone was working hard, and I think it carried over into our performance.”
The Cougars tied Utah State 1-1 in their first game and shut out SUU 3-0 in their third, scoring all three goals in the first 25-minute half. But perhaps their most impressive victory on the field was coming back to tie Utah after quickly falling behind by two, according to Rockwood.
“I felt really positive about that. We didn”t get frustrated. We didn”t get flustered. We kept our composure and just battled and got it back,” Rockwood said.
During the 2001 fall season and after their six spring season games so far, after falling behind in any game the Cougars never bounced back to either tie or pull out a victory.
Freshman forward Kimmie Davis, who scored BYU”s tying goal against Utah, said the team is gaining more confidence in their play and lately it is leading to their success.
“While before we had been lackadaisical on the field, I think we finally came out to battle, and it showed in our play,” Davis said.
Another athlete who stepped up her game is junior forward Jeni Viernes. She knocked the ball through the goal four times – one against the Aggies, one against the Utes and the next two against the Thunderbirds of SUU; the last goal was a 35-meter strike from the left.
Also scoring against SUU was Rachelle Dixon, who received an outside pass into the center of the field where she then took the shot from 15 meters out.
According to Rockwood, another positive that came out of the tournament was the return of freshman center midfielder Krissa Campbell. After recovering from reconstructive surgery on her right ankle last November, two week later she suffered a high sprain on her left ankle.
Campbell said after missing the last five months of play, she was excited to simply be back on the field, and she was satisfied with her performance, though she”s not in great physical condition.
The Cougars will conclude their spring season this Saturday, April 13, against the University of California and St. Mary”s College.