The BYU Women’s Soccer team is expecting their season to be played as well as last year even with the numerous departures from last season’s roster.
They confidently stepped out onto the field for their first two games by winning a game against the Haiti National team 5–0 and enjoying a great practice game during the BYU Blue vs. White game. Both of these matches set them up well before the regular play begins. BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood said she was impressed with how the games went and can’t wait for how this will shape the rest of the season.
“I couldn’t be more pleased,” she said.
BYU is very strong offensively and defensively. The returning players are displaying their talent developed while on the team while they help the freshmen demonstrate their skills as well.
The Blue and White game was the chance for this to happen. The team divided into two teams to square off against each other. But the teams were so evenly matched and fought hard throughout the game. They tied 0–0.
Their second preseason game was against the Haiti National team, a chance for both teams to have a friendly game to practice before season action began.
“There are always things we can improve on, but for our fist game out here with this new team, I was really pleased,” Rockwood said. “It was a great opportunity to meet these players and we respect what they do and they had to come a long way to play us. It was a great warm-up game for us as we prepare.”
The Cougars came out with energy to spare. Cloee Colohan started the game out right by scoring a goal off of the assist from Colette Smith in the eight minute. Rachel Manning headed in a goal five minutes later off of Jepson Smith and Jaiden Thornock. Then just five minutes before the half, Ashley Hatch scored a goal after a hard-fought battle with Haiti’s Shanna Hudson.
The pace continued into the second half and BYU scored two more goals, one from Marissa Nimmer and another by Colohan.
“I’ve been very pleased with the way we’ve been training the last week and I’m really pleased with the way we came out,” Rockwood said. “We wanted to come out with a lot of energy and see how quickly we can score goals. I thought our transition play was solid and we have a lot of great dangerous attacking players.”
The new freshmen demonstrated their effectiveness against Haiti. This was only Hatch’s second collegiate game in her career, and Brittain Dearden, while not scoring any points, fought hard throughout the game, clearing paths and helping her team keep a steady lead. This talent will undoubtedly prove effective during regular season play.
As they move forward with the season, the team expects every game to be a challenge. They finished last year’s season in a tough match against University of Northern Carolina in the Elite Eight match, where the game went into double overtime until the Cougars eventually lost 1–2. They want every game to be reminiscent of that tough fight.
“I worked hard in preparation for this. I love the energy and how encouraging and positive everyone on the team is,” Hatch said.
Hannah Clark, a freshman goalie from Danville, Calif., said she has high hopes for the season and can’t wait to contribute to the strong legacy.
“I can’t wait for the season,” she said, “and to just be a part of the team.”