A slow start couldn’t stop the BYU women’s soccer team from breaking open scoring in the second half and moving to its fifth straight win Saturday night, as the Cougars defeated Southern Methodist University 3-0.
BYU came out sluggish in the first half, getting off only five shots and posting no corners throughout the first 45 minutes. SMU was also held defensively and managed only three shots in the opening. But the bigger story was their effort in initially shutting down the Cougars’ attack.
“SMU was very low pressure in the first half, and we were having to play a lot more defense than we would have liked,” BYU coach Jennifer Rockwood said. “I told the girls that we’ve got to get back to those basics of working hard and playing harder. I thought the girls did a good job of doing that right from the kickoff in the second half.”
In the 66th minute, Elena Medeiros opened up the scoring for BYU for the second straight game by taking an assist from Michele Murphy and placing it in the corner of the net. Ashley Hatch then earned a penalty kick, which she took herself in the 72nd minute after being fouled by a Mustang defender. She finished the kick and put the Cougars up 2-0. Minutes later, Hatch scored again by blasting a rocket past the goalkeeper, bringing the final tally to 3-0 for BYU.
The defensive effort for BYU was also impressive, with Annie Amos and Taylor Campbell Isom anchoring the strong defensive line. Goal keeper Kat Snyder also secured her second shutout of the season. The Cougar defense, which has been stout as of late, allowed only seven shots through the full 90 minutes of play.
Wins are important for the Cougars, who are now looking to move up in the RPI rankings as West Coast Conference play begins next week.
“It feels good to get a couple wins on the road,” Rockwood said. “We’ve got to get results from here on out, for sure, if we want to accomplish some of our goals.”
The Cougars move to 6-3-2 on the season and will look to play big again next week as they travel to take on the Toreros of San Diego, starting their season play in the West Coast Conference.