BYU women’s soccer prepares for Rice

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Ashlee Headlee

Looking to continue its home  winning streak, the BYU women’s soccer team has spent the past week preparing for its game against Rice. The Cougars will take on the Owls at 7 p.m. this Saturday on South Field.

The team was given a well-deserved day off following its 2-0 win against the University of Arizona but was quickly back on the field focusing on aspects of the game that head coach Jennifer Rockwood felt needed practice.

“We will just keep working on the same things we have been working on — our two-touch play, crossing and finishing and better combination play in the attacking third,” Rockwood said. “We have really been stressing trying to keep the ball more, finding the seams and defensively not giving our opponents any looks.”

The last time the Cougars faced Rice was in September 2010. Although the Cougars did come out the victors with a score of 1-0, the game proved to be a struggle for both teams.

Rockwood said last year’s victory against Rice did not come easy, and it is critical for BYU to come ready to play.

“We definitely need to make sure that we are prepared for Rice because they are a very good team,” Rockwood said. “We barely snuck out of there last year with the win, and so we know they will come prepared and excited to play.”

Despite Rice’s 2010 season record of 8-8-4, the team’s winning record for this year marks the best start to the season Rice has had since 2006. The Owls have also earned a regional ranking from the National Coaches Association of America but are not currently nationally ranked .

The Cougars, currently ranked No. 2o, have a 4-1-1 record, and have won their last three home games.

BYU has constantly drawn large crowds to these games with more than 3,000 people in attendance each match. These large numbers did not go unnoticed  by Soccer America, who published an article recognizing BYU women’s soccer for having the highest attendance in the nation for all of its home games this season.

The team’s 13 goals this season have been scored by 10 different players, with two goals attributed to Jennie Marshall, Auna Doria and Colette Jepson.

Junior defender Lindsi Lisonbee said a positive outlook is what is required to keep this momentum going.

“We need to stay positive and try to look for the best in each game,” Lisonbee said. “It’s also important to make sure we have the confidence in ourselves and rub that off on our teammates.”

The game will be broadcast live on BYUtv and online at byutv.org/live.

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