The Cougars started fast and kept rolling as they pushed to a 4-0 win in front of an energetic crowd at South Field on Saturday night.
“Obviously scoring early kind of sets the tone,” BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. “We haven’t done that this year. It gives the team a little bit of confidence. ”
In the fifth minute, BYU midfielder Marissa Nimmer took a corner kick from Elisabeth Phillips, who headed the ball on that was then pushed by Niki Fernandes cleanly past the goalkeeper.
“Getting goals early in the game, it just sets the tempo,” Fernandes said. “It was good for us.”
Fernandes, who had been held scoreless for the first part of the season, then scored again in the 22nd minute as Ashley Hatch played a beautiful ball across the defense. Fernandes stopped it and blasted it past the goal keeper to put the Cougars up 2-0.
“I thought we were composed,” Rockwood said. “We moved the ball well, and I was especially pleased to see how well our forwards did in the first half.”
Colorado College then committed an own goal in the 40th minute as Marissa Nimmer took a free kick that bounced off the goal keeper’s hands and was knocked in by a defender.
In the 56th minute, Michele Murphy earned a penalty kick after being knocked down by a Colorado College defender. Without hesitation, she took the shot herself, scored her first goal of the season and put the Cougars up 4-0.
The defense held strong throughout the game, shutting out the Tigers, who have totaled 17 goals on the season.
The youth of the Cougars also played an important role in the 4-0 shoutout. Twenty-four different girls saw playing time, and all of them showed they can contribute more in the future.
“Having a young team is good in our case because we have some older girls that are good leaders,” Fernandes said. “We’ve been able to just get these young girls going, and it will be good for them to carry that on as they go.”
Rockwood is also excited about the future of this young team.
“We have a tremendous amount of talent on the team right now,” Rockwood said. “They are young, and they are working extremely hard. They want more than anything to represent BYU in a winning way, and I think we have turned the corner in the last two weeks.”
The Cougars leave town next week to take on Denver on Thursday, and then Southern Methodist University on Saturday.