The BYU women’s soccer team is poised to make a run at a conference championship this year. The team returns nine seniors from last year with seven having significant playing experience from last season.
“Our goal this year is to win the conference championship,” head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. “We’ve won a lot in the Mountain West Conference and now we have moved to the WCC, which is one of the top four conferences in the country, and we want to win the championship this year.”
The Cougars are coming off a season where they fell short of some of the goals they had set for themselves. Rockwood is confident returning starters Carlee Payne Holmoe, Ashley Bazzarone and Lindsi Lisonbee will help the team to stay focused.
“They are motivated to make sure that they are at their very best,” Rockwood said.
The defense looks to be the strong point of the Cougars this year with Lisonbee, who has started every game since her freshman year and is a two time All-American and one of the top defenders in the country. Bazzarone is joined by fellow seniors Cami Jensen and Dana Oldroyd. They will look to help protect the gap left by four year starting goalie McKinzie Olson. Filling in for Olson will be Erica Owens who Rockwood is confident will be able to step in and fill that role for the team.
The offense will be led by senior Holmoe who had five goals last year and led the team with nine assists. She will be joined by Jennie Marshall who had six goals and four assists and Colette Jepson who had four goals and four assists.
The conference is loaded with talent with Santa Clara and Pepperdine having been ranked in the top 10 in the country last year. Rockwood predicts the Cougars will be ranked anywhere from second to fourth in the conference and mentioned that any of those spots will be decided by just a couple of goals.
“We were ranked number one in the country in home attendance last year,” Rockwood said. “And this year we have the toughest home schedule we’ve ever had in the 18 years that I have been here. We hope that people will come and support the girls and play some fantastic soccer against some of the best soccer players in the country.”
The Cougars start the season off with a Blue and White game Aug. 11, at 7 p.m. at South Field. The biggest games of the year for the Cougars will be the first game at UC Irvine Aug. 17, their first home game against Long Beach State Aug. 30 and the weekend of Sept. 6 and 8 against Texas and Penn State at home.