After an early scare on the road, BYU women’s soccer turned on the heat and burned the Denver Pioneers 4-1 on Thursday night, extending its current win streak to four games.
The Cougars, who were 1-1-0 all time against the Pioneers coming into the game, came out fast in the first half. In the fourth minute, Ashley Hatch crossed the ball for Elena Medeiros, who put the first goal of the game in the back of the net, putting BYU up 1-0.
The scare came in the 11th minute, when Denver midfielder Francesca Garzelloni took a cross and headed the ball in for the Pioneers, tying the score at 1-1.
“We gave up that first shot, and they scored on it,” BYU coach Jennifer Rockwood said. “That was a little disheartening, and we got too rattled, and the momentum definitely changed at that point.”
Substitutions off the bench played a key role in the success of BYU after the goal by Denver. After coming off the bench, Madie Lyons scored in the 40th minute, putting the Cougars up 2-1.
“I thought we finished strong in the first half after struggling for about 15 minutes in the middle,” Rockwood said. “We just needed some new blood out on the field to battle.”
After the halftime break, the Cougars came out to battle again. Michele Murphy pushed her way towards the goal in the 53rd minute and put a shot on frame, notching her second goal of the season and putting BYU up 3-1. Then, in the 59th minute, Ashley Hatch baited Denver goal keeper Cassidy Rey out of the cage and made her miss on a tackle, leaving the net open for a goal and moving the score to 4-1. Rockwood had nothing but high praise for her team after the game.
“I thought they did a great job,” Rockwood said. They came out really strong and really hungry, and I thought we looked great in those first 15–20 minutes and put DU (Denver University) on their heels.”
BYU moves to 5-3-2 on the season. The team, which only totaled three goals through the first five games of the season, has put 15 goals on the board in its last five matches.
The Cougars look to keep things rolling as they travel to Dallas Saturday to take on Southern Methodist University at 7 p.m. (CDT).