Soccer Takes on SDSU and Air Force

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    By Jacob Nielson

    With the sting of defeat still felt from the loss to Utah, the No. 15 BYU women”s soccer team looks to regain lost ground in the Mountain West conference by taking on San Diego State Thursday, Oct. 12, 2006, at 7 p.m. at South Field.

    “We are always anxious to get to the next game,” BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood said, “especially coming off a disappointing loss.”

    Tonight”s match marks the 17th game between the two teams. With the record between SDSU and BYU dead even at 7-7-2, this game has the potential to tip the scales between the conference rivals.

    “We expect a heck of a game,” BYU assistant coach Chris Watkins said. “They have a lot of talent.”

    SDSU sophomore forward Jen Mello leads the Aztec”s talent with 13 points and five goals, and she is trailed by Aztec forward Erika Sutton with 12 points and three goals.

    The Cougars will rely on their powerful defense to answer the SDSU threat. But, as demonstrated in the Utah and Fresno State game, defense alone cannot put goals on the board.

    With BYU”s Achilles” heel of not being able to create and convert many good scoring opportunities, the game against SDSU gives the Cougar offense a chance to reverse the trend.

    “We are trying to put more pressure on our offensive players,” Rockwood said. “We”ve spent a lot of time in front of the goal this week.”

    The Cougars hope to enter tonight”s game charged and ready to rebound from last Saturday”s loss.

    “The key is we”re competing at game pace with full intensity at practice,” Watkins said. “We are really putting our players in as realistic situations as possible in practice.”

    BYU will look to scoring leaders Katie Larkin, and Katie Fellows, with 25 points and 7 goals between the two, to bring that intensity.

    As with eight of the Cougars 13 games this year, past BYU wins have come by a one-goal margin. Going into SDSU tonight, the Cougars are counting on it being close.

    “Like most games, it will probably come down to one goal,” Watkins said. “We”ve always had close games with these guys.”

    Following the SDSU game tonight, BYU will return to South Field to fight Air Force Saturday, Oct. 14, 2006, at 7 p.m.

    BYU leads the Falcons all-time at 8-1-1.

    For fans not able to attend in person, tonight”s game will be broadcast on BYU-TV and Saturday night”s game can be seen by visiting cstv.com.

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