Cougars Prepare for Season Finale

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    By Jacob Nielson

    With a national ranking, and a winning record, the No. 21 BYU women?s soccer team will cap-off its winning season Saturday, Oct. 28, 2006, when the Cougars host UNLV at South Field at 7 p.m.

    A win for BYU (12-2-3) over UNLV (8-9-1) would secure for the Cougars the second seed in the Mountain West Conference tournament, giving BYU a first-round bye.

    ?It?s amazing that it?s already the end of our regular season,? BYU coach Jennifer Rockwood said, ?This game has a lot riding on it.?

    Due to a set of ties in conference play, and a loss to the No. 15 Utes, BYU must come up with at least a tie Saturday to clinch the second seed position and avoid being relegated to the third spot, currently held by UNLV.

    UNLV is like every team in the conference, very solid and capable, Rockwood said.

    With nothing less than a win required to bump the Rebels up to second, UNLV will need to buck the all-time, nine-year trend of losses to the Cougars to make it happen.

    Going up against BYU at home will add to the surmounting challenge UNLV has, given that the Cougars have allowed just two goals at home in the last six weeks.

    With Cougar goalie Erika Woodbury ratcheting up the school record on saves with each game, BYU has an answer for the strong UNLV offense.

    ?I?m really pleased with the energy and effort that the team has given everyday,? Rockwood said.

    BYU?s energy and effort has helped to make great advances in earning the Cougars national recogni-tion this season.

    Despite the recognition, at the beginning of the year, in part because of a confidence-building preseason coaches poll to take the conference, by now the Cougars had hoped to be at the top of the conference standings.

    ?Obviously all year you shoot for winning the conference regular sea-son,? Rockwood said. ?[But] we have been very successful and played at a very high level and we hope to take that into post-season play.?

    The game Saturday will be televised on BYUTV and will begin by honoring BYU?s nine seniors for their contributions to the team.

    ?There is a lot of excitement this week,? Rockwood said, ?and anxiousness.?

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