There was much to celebrate for the BYU women’s soccer team at South Field tonight as it was senior night, Ashley Hatch is back, and the Cougars scored the most goals they have all season beating Saint Mary’s 4-1.
The Cougars had a lot on the line in terms of the WCC season title so it was no surprise that they came out strong and attacked Saint Mary’s goal relentlessly. The Cougars scored three goals in the first half at the game, two from Nadia Gomes and one from Maddie Lyons. Lyons added a second goal in the second half to bring the Cougars up to four goals for the win. Four goals is the most the team has scored in one game all season.
“I thought we came out with energy. everyone wanted it so bad so we were playing for our seniors and our seniors stepped up and played great too,” Lyons said. “It was all-around a great game I thought, very entertaining.”
Both of the goals from Lyons came from outside the box and sailed perfectly into the back corner of the net. Lyons scored in the 11th minute from the top left corner of the box after receiving a pass from midfielder Michele Murphy Vasconcelos. Her second goal came in the 74th minute off of a pass from senior defender Sarah Chambers Gardner. Lyon’s goals were her second and third this season and fourth and fifth goals of her career.
“I am stoked! It’s about time I put some in and just beautiful balls from Sarah and other players as well. I played for them and I put those in for them,” Lyons said.
The Cougars other two goals of the night came from sophomore forward Gomes. Gomes also scored two goals last game and always seems to be in be right place at the right time to put the ball in the back of the net. Gomes’ scored her first goal of the night in the 27th minute off a cross from Lyons. Lyons put the ball in front of the goal from the right corner and Gomes got past a defender and tapped it past the goalie. Gomes headed the ball into the goal off a pass from Gardner in the 31st minute to make her second goal of the night and her ninth goal this season.
“It was fun to see Nadia put in a couple goals,” head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. “It’s just so fun to work and train with these girls. They’ve worked so hard all year and done a phenomenal job this season in conference play to go 7-1-1 in the WCC. We are really proud of that.”
Tonight was also senior night at South Field and almost 3,000 fans came out in the 36 degree weather to support the seniors in their last season game as BYU soccer players. Gardner led the Seniors tonight playing 76 minutes with two assists and a last second save in front of the goal box to end the game.
“I was really pumped tonight,” Gardner said. “I just wanted to play the best game I could and it looked like I played pretty good I felt.”
Marrissa Nimmer Linehan played 33 minutes tonight and has averaged 14 minutes of play per game this season. Camille Green Heath played 29 minutes tonight and averaged 13 minutes of playing time this season. The three seniors were able to play until the end and were all on the field when the final whistle blew and the Cougars won.
“It’s always special to play on a senior night and to play and to play well for them, for Nimmer and Sarah and Millie who have done an amazing job for us during their career,” Rockwood said.
Ashley Hatch is back after being out with a knee injury for eight games and saw the field for the first time this season. The Cougars are all gearing up for NCAA tournament play after tonight’s win. Tournament selection will take place on Monday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. MST and BYU will host the first game of the NCAA tournament next Saturday afternoon, Nov. 14, at 1 p.m.
The Cougars are in the running for a piece of the WCC title, but the piece they get is to be determined by the outcome of the San Francisco vs Portland game. They play at 8 p.m. MST and BYU needs a San Francisco loss to win the conference or a San Francisco tie to tie for the conference title. BYU wins the WCC title only if San Francisco loses to Portland tonight.