The BYU women’s soccer team began their West Coast Conference play by defeating Gonzaga 1-0.
“Every single game is for a conference championship,” BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. “Gonzaga did a great job of making us play back to goal.”
The game began slow as the Cougars did not have a shot on goal until the 11th minute by Bizzy Phillips. The next opportunity for BYU came only minutes later when Nadia Gomes took a spectacular shot in the 14th minute once again only to be saved by Gonzaga’s keeper.
Gonzaga kept BYU’s keeper Rachel Boaz on her toes. Boaz made three saves in the first half maintaining the score at 0-0 at the end of the half.
The Cougars came out with much more energy in the second half placing immediate pressure on Gonzaga, but it was Gonzaga that had the first chance when they hit the post in the 47th minute. But from then on it was BYU’s game.
The Cougars had multiple great drives up the wing in the second half, threatening the Gonzaga goal multiple times. But it wasn’t until the 70th minute that the Cougars found the back of the net. Gomes played a nice pass to Michele Murphy Vasconcelos, who played the ball right back to Gomes who was open in front of the goal. Gomes placed the ball beautifully behind the keeper making the score 1-0.
From there it was BYU’s defense that maintained possession for most of the half. Boaz and the Cougar’s defensive back line maintained the shut out for the eighth time this season. BYU defeated Gonzaga 1-0 making the No. 6 Cougars 1-0 in conference play.
“At half, I challenged them that everyone has to be responsible for making something happen and they came out with more emotion,” Rockwood said.
BYU continues their road play against Portland on Saturday at 7 p.m.