Cougars ready to extend winning streak

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The No. 17 BYU women’s soccer team is primed and ready to continue its recent winning ways at South Field this weekend against Cal Poly and No. 23 Washington.

The Cougars are coming off a stellar win against Penn State, who had previously held the No. 6 national rank, that put them in the top rankings of every major Division 1 pole, but assistant coach Chris Watkins said the team is not settling with its recent success.

“We’ve really preached hard work and humility,” Watkins said. “We want to make sure we work harder than the other teams and continue to get better.”

Despite missing the NCAA tournament last year, Watkins believes this team is ready and set for a great season and a run at the NCAA.

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“Last year we didn’t make the tournament,” he said. “It was very humbling, but it has helped us to be hungry, to work really hard in practice and to minimize our bad efforts.”

Thursday at 7 p.m. the Cougars go up against the Cal Poly Mustangs (3-3-1) who are currently on a three game losing streak. Despite their record, senior Dana Oldroyd Cusick said she and her teammates are fired up for the game and have an added incentive to perform well.

“We are so stoked for this game,” Cusick said. “We tied Cal Poly 2-2 last year and feel that we should have won the game, so this year we really want to show up and play well.”

Following Thursday’s game, the Cougars take on the Washington Huskies Saturday at 7 p.m.  The Huskies are currently ranked No. 23 and sport a 7-0 record this season.

The Huskies, like BYU, are a strong defensive unit, giving up a total of two goals all year.  The Cougars have only given up one goal in their last four matches against some of top-ranked teams in the country. Though Washington will prove to be a solid team, Dana Oldroyd Cusick likes her defenses chances.

“I’m so proud of Erica (Owens) our goalkeeper,” Cusick said. “She had big shoes to fill but is so reliable back there.  And in our back line we all know each other so well. We can read each other and we always support one another and we have tons of speed.”

One advantage the Mustangs and Huskies won’t be able to deny is the vaunted home-field advantage of South Field. Coach Jennifer Rockwood said it has “an electric atmosphere that gives the girls a lot of energy.”

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