No. 8 BYU (7-1-0) increased their home-game winning streak to 12 games in the Cougar’s 1-0 victory over previously undefeated Oregon State (4-1-2).
In their sixth game against a Pac-12 opponent this season, BYU outshot Oregon State 26-9.
The Cougars got on the board first as junior forward Ashley Hatch scored her third goal of the season in the 13th minute after getting her head on a 50/50 ball in the air from defender Paige Hunt and then putting it in.
“Paige just had a nice ball in and I headed it down and had to finish it for her,” Hatch said.
Eight minutes later, Hatch went down after banging her knee against an Oregon State player’s knee. BYU students chanted “Ash-ley, Ash-ley, Ash-ley” as Hatch walked off the field with athletic trainers. Due to NCAA rules, Hatch was not allowed to return to play in the first half, but she started the second half. Hatch said she is a little sore and it felt like a “dead leg,” but will be fine.
“We played a really great game tonight,” head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. “(We) came out strong at the very beginning and got a goal early, which we always really really push for.”
BYU had only six shots in the first half of the game. Seven players came in off the bench as the Cougars tried to spark their attack before the half ended with the Cougars ahead 1-0.
Rockwood said the coaches told the girls at half time to get more wide to spread the Beavers’ defense out — it worked. After those six shots in the first 45 minutes of play, BYU fired off nine shots in the first 16 minutes of the second half, playing more like themselves.
Hatch said after sitting out for a while, she had lots of energy — Hatch led the way with nine shots. Elena Medeiros had six shots while Bizzy Phillips and Nadia Gomes had three each and Michele Murphy Vasconcelos had two. Paige Hunt, Madie Siddoway and Madie Lyons had one shot each.
“We battled all the way to the end,” Rockwood said. “Our girls continued to stay hungry … I love the way we continued to compete through the entire match.”
Hatch said she thought the team got a little too comfortable near the end of the game, but performed well besides that.
The Beavers had two close shots in the final minutes of the game, but the defensive line stayed composed. Junior goalkeeper Rachel Boaz had her sixth shut out of the season.
“(We keep) in mind: focus on every task, don’t look to the end of the game, don’t look back to past plays,” Boaz said. “You never know when a team can have an opportunity.”
Boaz said she hopes that with the team possessing the ball most of the game as they did against the Beavers, they can finish more of their shots early in the game to maintain energy on both offense and defense.
BYU is the only school in the nation to have five teams in the Top 25 with women’s soccer at No. 8, women’s volleyball No. 9, football No. 19 and both men and women’s cross country teams at No. 14 and No. 24, respectively. Rockwood said it’s a great time for BYU fall sports and everyone is trying to keep up with each other.
BYU will travel to Cal Poly on Thursday Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. PDT. The game will be broadcast on ESPN 960 AM and Cougar IMG Sports Network.