The BYU women’s soccer team overcame a sluggish start on senior night to beat the Dons of San Francisco 3-0, staying undefeated in West Coast Conference play and extending its win streak to 11 games.
BYU honored five players for their accomplishments, including seniors Annie Amos, Jaiden Thornock, Kat Snyder and Niki Fernandes. The team also honored Hilary Kaufusi, a junior goal keeper for the Cougars who is unable to continue her career because of injury.
After the opening ceremonies, good feelings quickly faded as the Cougars started slowly in the first half. BYU only managed to get off eight shots, with only two of those on frame. San Francisco’s defense, which came into the game having only allowed 17 goals all season, kept BYU cleanly off the board during the first 45 minutes.
The Dons looked poised to come out of the game with a draw, keeping almost the entire team back on defense for a good majority of the game. In the 40th minute, Madi Lyons crossed a corner kick toward the center of the box, and Taylor Campbell Isom got a clean header off that deflected off the cross bar. Bizzy Phillips then took a crack at the ball on the rebound but couldn’t manage to put the ball through a sea of defenders. Neither team was able to maintain possession of the ball for any significant amount of time in the half.
The floodgates broke open in the 61st minute, when Elena Medeiros sent a beautiful shot across the left side of the field just out of reach of San Francisco goal keeper Madalyn Schiffel and into the upper right corner of the goal.
“At halftime, our coaches just said to settle down and find our rhythym again,” Medeiros said. “Once we got our passing down and finding the slot balls through we found people open.”
BYU did just that in the 71st minute, when Fernandes streaked down the middle of the field and slotted a ball cleanly past a San Francisco defender to Michele Murphy, who put the ball past the goal keeper and into the back of the net. Ashley Hatch then put her 15th goal of the season past Dons goal keeper Schiffel in the 73rd minute, giving BYU a 3-0 lead.
“It was a great game,” Medeiros said. “The second half we came out with more fire, I felt like, and once we started connecting and putting our one-two touch on the ball we got that first goal, and the rest started going in.”
After the onslaught of goals from BYU the Dons were awarded a penalty kick in the 78th minute when a shot deflected off of the arm of BYU defender Miranda Bailey. USF was unable to convert, however, when Kat Snyder made a beautiful diving save off the kick, holding onto her clean sheet and keeping final score at 3-0.
BYU takes to the road next week to play Saint Mary’s on Thursday, Oct. 30. That game will be broadcast through radio on the Cougar IMG sports network.