Following two wins this past week, BYU women’s soccer jumped from No. 10 to No. 7 in NCAA Division I rankings after starting the season unranked. The ranking is according to the United Soccer Coaches Poll, the most recently updated of the three polls that represent the women’s soccer ranking system.
Last week, the Cougars sat at No. 10 before back-to-back shutouts against Texas A&M and Utah Valley University. Texas A&M was ranked No. 12 at the time and has dropped slightly to No. 13 after the loss to BYU on Sept. 12. The Cougars are now 6-0 with five shutouts.
BYU women’s soccer has been a Division I program for 24 seasons, all led by head coach Jennifer Rockwood. Rockwood has coached 22 winning seasons and 14 conference championships and holds a career record of 381-113-43. Rockwood has seen no shortage of successful teams and players.
“We want to earn the right to be confident, and that is something else we talk a lot about,” Rockwood said. “With our experience that we’ve had, with our leadership, with our team culture, and with the work rate that these girls have … I think we have earned the right to be confident.”
The team’s 2019 motto is “Find a way,” which is exactly what they have been doing this season. After an impressive win against Texas A&M, senior goalkeeper Sabrina Davis talked about how this new motto has shaped the way the team has competed so far.
“We made sure that we found a way to put the ball in the back of the net and to just play to our strengths. We kept telling each other to not worry about what (the other team is) doing but to worry about ourselves and our strengths. Our strengths are pressing, communicating and just getting the work done,” Davis said.
Despite all the hype around the team and its success, the players say they are taking the season one game at a time. The Cougars are striving to make every game count as they progress through the season.
“We’ve gotten better every single game, which is all we can ask for,” starting forward Elize Flake said following last week’s win against Texas A&M. “Rankings are cool, but we are just trying to play so that we can get better every game so that we can be ready for the postseason.”
The Cougars will finish off the week in Kansas where they will play two games: Sept. 19 against No. 14 Kansas, followed by a Sept. 21 matchup against Kansas State. The Cougars will not be playing at home again until Saturday, Sept. 28, when they take on UC Irvine at 7 p.m. at South Field.