The No. 6 BYU women’s soccer team begin their 2012 West Coast Conference schedule with a big game against the No. 21 Santa Clara Broncos Friday at 6 p.m.
“Santa Clara is a very very talented team,” senior defender Cami Jensen said. “It’ll be a huge challenge for us, but we’ve seen as good or better all year and we know that if we play our game, move the ball and stay confident we’ll be just fine.”
The Cougars come into the game as one of the hottest teams in the country with a nine-game winning streak, during which the Cougars have outscored their opponents by a staggering 22-3. They have also recorded shut-outs in each of their last three outings with seven total shutouts on the year.
Santa Clara comes into the game as a team with plenty of confidence riding a three-game winning streak and having never lost to BYU. The Broncos sport a record of 7-2-3 with a great deal of momentum coming into league play with two of Santa Clara’s best players having just returned from the U-20 national championships.
But Santa Clara has not yet faced a team of BYU’s caliber, especially with the energy and momentum with which the Cougars have been playing with this season.
“I feel like we’ve played with a lot more passion this season, wanting it more than our opponents,” junior goalkeeper Erica Owens said. “We’re all so excited for our conference schedule and for what’s coming.”
In this year’s preseason polls, the Santa Clara Broncos were picked to finish first in the West Coast Conference, which should add a little fire to the Cougars and their home fans as they continue to show the country they are a force to be reckoned with.
“We’ve been looking forward to this game for a long time,” head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. “We’ve set ourselves up as well as we can for this game, and we should be confident and excited. We have a chance to play for a conference championship and it all starts on Friday.”