Cougars excited for weekend’s pivotal games

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The No. 4 BYU women’s soccer team is excited for the final games of the regular season as it once again seeks to prove itself in this weekend’s decisive road games against conference foes Loyola Marymount and No. 22 Pepperdine.

“We’re in a perfect situation,” junior midfielder Kyleigh Royall said. “This weekend we just need to come out early because scoring a few goals in the first half is key. We just need to play our game and put them down quick. Play our game and we’ll get a victory.”

The action begins on Thursday as the Cougars take on the 9-7-2 Loyola Marymount Lions. Though the Lions are currently sporting a two-game losing streak, they have won their last three in-state game and will still be a tough game for the Cougars.

Following their game against Loyola Marymount, the Cougars will travel to Pepperdine to take on the 13-5 Waves. The game will prove to be a grind as Pepperdine is traditionally a solid team and would enjoy nothing more than to upset the Cougars’ miracle run. The Waves have won seven of their last nine and hope to end on a high note going into the NCAA tournament.

Being ranked the fourth best team in the country, BYU has high expectations and is excited about the upcoming NCAA tourament, but are staying unusually grounded despite all of the hype.

“This is kind of surreal,” junior midfielder Cloee Colohan said. “It’s hard to describe how excited we are going into these last two games of conference and the tournament. But our coaches have helped us to stay focused on each game so the only thing we have on our minds is Loyola Marymount.”

BYU is currently riding a winning streak of 17 straight games with double-digit shots and haven’t lost a game in its last 15 outings. The Cougars are outscoring their opponents 44-10 and haven’t allowed more than one goal in a game this year.

This record-breaking season for the Cougars has Provo expecting great things from BYU, expectations people close to the team feel they are primed to meet.

“They’re playing really, really well, and that continues to build their confidence,” the team’s head trainer Carolyn Billings said. “As the pressure has increased with rankings and expectations, they’ve really come together and continued to score goals and play defense. The coaches are doing a great job of keeping the team focused on the next game and keeping the team grounded with all of the talk going on about expectations and potential. This team will do great things.”

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