In their first match since a loss to Pepperdine, the Cougars will take on the Broncos today at 6 p.m. PDT.
BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood is excited about the match, and thinks the team has learned a lot from its past two games, against Portland and Pepperdine.
“I am really pleased with the direction we are moving,” Rockwood said. “We are definitely looking forward to this next game against Santa Clara. We played out there last year, so we are a little familiar with their facility.”
Last year’s game against Santa Clara ended in a 2-1 loss for BYU. The Broncos scored early in the game, but BYU defender Lindsi Lisonbee tied up the score soon after. The score remained tied until the last 9 minutes of the game, when Santa Clara found the back of the net, giving them the win.
Freshman forward Jaiden Thornock said being optimistic was key if BYU wanted to beat Santa Clara this time around.
“We definitely need to continue being positive and keep playing hard if we want to win,” Thornock said.
BYU has a 7-4-2 season record going into its game against Santa Clara. The Cougars are coming off a 2-1 win against Portland and a 1-0 loss against Pepperdine.
The Cougars’ top goal scorers are senior forward Jennie Marshall and Lisonbee, who have four goals each this season. Junior forward Carlee Payne and Thornock have contributed three goals each.
Senior goalkeeper McKinzie Olson has made 47 saves so far this season, which is only six saves away from the most career saves in BYU women’s soccer history.
Santa Clara has an 8-4-1 season record, and has won its past five games. Freshman Sofia Huertas is the Broncos’ top goal scorer with five goals and 40 shots this season. Huerta helped her team continue its winning streak by scoring both goals in Santa Clara’s first conference victory this season against Saint Mary’s.
The Broncos have recorded seven shutouts this year, with their only loss coming in their match against No. 1 Stanford.
Santa Clara will be the fourth opponent BYU faces that is ranked in the Top 25.
Fans can watch the game live and follow stats on the Santa Clara women’s soccer website.