BYU women’s soccer seeks to close out the season on high note

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Michele Vasconcelos shoots the ball earlier this season. (BYU Photo)
Michele Vasconcelos shoots the ball earlier this season. (BYU Photo)

The BYU women’s soccer team is seeking to finish its season on a positive note on Nov. 5 on Senior Night as the team prepares to enter the NCAA tournament.

The BYU women’s soccer team is currently ranked No. 7 nationally. It’s important for the team to keep that high ranking because it plays a large role in the selection process. Not only will a high ranking guarantee a spot in the tournament, but it will likely lead to BYU hosting games in the first few rounds.

Home field advantage in the postseason is a massive goal of the Cougars, but they’re trying to avoid getting caught in the hype.

“Sometimes when the tournament gets close, we think about it more,” captain Taylor Isom said. “We are just trying to take it one game at a time.”

Associate head coach Chris Watkins said the team is also battling complacency.

“We want to make sure that we aren’t complacent,” Watkins said. “We’ve beaten some great teams, but we don’t want the season to end there.”

BYU holds a 15-2-1 record this season and the Cougars have dominated their schedule, losing their two games by a 2-0 combined margin.

Head coach Jennifer Rockwood said the team is working to battle complacency.

“The players are in midterms, they’ve been working hard, they’ve had a lot of success” Rockwood said. “But sometimes it’s easy to go through the motions at this point.”

Rockwood has been turning up the intensity at practice to help her players remember the work that still needs to be done. She’s also reminding the team of its 1-0 loss to Pepperdine on Oct. 8.

The loss could’ve been a turning point for the Cougars, but instead they quickly bounced back and posted a 3-0 victory over Portland in their next contest.

“The (Pepperdine) loss was hard, I think we got complacent for a game,” Michele Vasconcelos said. “But our attitude is shifting and we are hungry to score and hungry to win at practice, which will transfer into our games.”

The Cougars won back-to-back road games against St. Mary’s and Pacific last week and their final game is a home contest against Gonzaga on Nov. 5.

Rockwood knows every game is crucial.

“Every game means so much,” Rockwood said. “We are trying to get to the tournament, we’re tying to win a conference championship, we’re trying to get a NCAA seed. Every game means a lot.”

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