The No. 22 BYU women’s soccer team faced one of its toughest tests of the season Saturday at No. 18 Santa Clara and came up just short. The Broncos prevailed 2-1.
“We really battled hard,” said BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood. “We’re clearly improving, but Santa Clara was just better as a team today.”
The Cougars struck first in the 11th minute when forward Jaiden Thornock found fellow forward Colette Jepson Smith. Thornock took the ball near the top of the box and crossed it into Smith, who beat the defense to the ball and punched it in. BYU enjoyed the lead for much of the first half before Santa Clara poked one past a diving Erica Owens, the Cougars’ goalkeeper.
Early in the second half, midfielder Cloee Colohan had a good look but rifled the ball off of the crossbar. The rest of the second half proved to be a defensive struggle as both defenses repelled the opposing team’s attacks.
With fewer than 10 minutes to play, Santa Clara scored the game-winning goal when Owens was beat to the near post.
The Cougars will bring their improved play home for home games on Thursday, Oct. 17, versus Pepperdine.