BYU women’s soccer sealed its third straight West Coast Conference title by beating the Pacific Tigers on the road Saturday night.
The Cougars moved to 7-0-1 and became just the fifth team in WCC history to win three consecutive conference championships. The only other teams in the conference that have earned that honor are Portland and Santa Clara.
Shortly after the match began, a delay in play occurred as an ambulance was called to assist a Pacific player who went down with an injury. After play continued, the Cougars couldn’t manage to maintain control of the ball, exchanging possessions with the Tigers for the first part of the half. BYU finally broke out of the slump in the 24th minute when forward Ashley Hatch scored on a breakaway, putting the Cougars up 1-0.
Shortly after a group of substitutions, forward Jaiden Thornock sent a pass to Nadia Gomes, who converted the pass and put the ball in the back of the net. BYU took a 2-0 lead into the half, well on its way to a victory and the WCC title.
The scoring continued for the Cougars in the 56th minute when Marissa Nimmer sent a pass to Hatch, giving BYU a three-goal lead. The Cougars then finished the game in the 78th minute when Thornock took a through ball from Gomes and beat the goalkeeper to score the final goal of the night. Thornock’s goal was her first of the season.
Both Kat Snyder and Hannah Clark played at goal keeper for the Cougars, earning the team’s 10th shutout of the season.
The win against Pacific puts BYU out of reach of Santa Clara and Pepperdine, who were the only true threats to catch up to the Cougars in the WCC points standings. With an outright conference championship, BYU has earned an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
BYU takes on 12th-ranked Pepperdine next Saturday, Nov. 8, at 1 p.m. (PT). It will be the Cougars’ last game of the regular season and will be their final tune-up before the NCAA tournament.