The BYU women’s soccer team battled to the end in a physical 2-0 victory over the University of Utah in the Deseret First Duel Friday, Sept. 4, at South Field. For the first time in three years, the winning goal did not come down to a deciding penalty kick in the second half.
Despite Utah outshooting BYU 20-17, the No. 9 ranked Cougars walked away with their fourth consecutive 2-0 win this season, also maintaining a nine-game home winning streak alive.
Freshman midfielder Madie Siddoway, “Sid” to her teammates, answered the challenge and made her first career goal in the 14th minute. A corner kick ricocheted off midfielder Bizzy Phillips’ head, which Siddoway picked up. Siddoway shot from the top right of the box and secured the goal at far post. Siddoway’s goal is the second latest goal scored by the Cougars so far this season, after Ashley Hatch’s first goal against Colorado in the 16th minute.
“The feeling was amazing to watch the ball go into the back of the net and to just feel that I had helped my team accomplish something we had worked so hard for, was amazing,” Siddoway said.
Siddoway said she will always remember her teammates wrapping their arms around her in celebration and their excitement.
Head coach Jennifer Rockwood said she is sure this is an experience Siddoway will never forget.
“[I’m] so excited for Sid to come in as a freshman, earn a starting spot and then to score her first collegiate goal against Utah,” Rockwood said.
Siddoway’s goal was an answer to a challenge given by the coaches before the game: how early can we score? And eight minutes after Siddoway, sophomore Nadia Gomes answered again by netting her second goal of the year on a free kick just outside of the box on the left side.
“I thought we brought a lot of energy and really attacked well in the first half,” Rockwood said.
Momentum shifted in the Utes’ favor in the second half, but the Cougars held on to the win and “gutted it out,” as Rockwood described.
Both teams substituted many times, which kept fresh legs on the field and seemed to boost energy levels during this notoriously physical rivalry game.
Former San Diego State goalkeeper Rachel Boaz anchored the defense for the Cougars in her fourth-straight shutout. Boaz made seven saves, including two key saves in the 89th minute.
“Rachel keeps stepping up big for us every time she steps on the field,” Rockwood said. “Rachel continues to be a great presence for us in the back and she came up with some big saves tonight to make sure that we secured the win.”
Once again, a record-setting crowd of 5,620 came to support their teams. The crowd was more active in the second half as all fans tried to cheer louder than the opposing fans.
“What a great environment for college soccer,” Rockwood said. “The fans were phenomenal.”
The Cougars will play at Stanford on Monday, Sept. 7, at 7 p.m. PDT. The game will be broadcasted on Cougar IMG Sports Network and ESPN 960 AM.