The Brigham Young University women’s soccer coach Jennifer Rockwood confirmed that the team is making progress in their preparation for a possible spring season in 2021.
The women’s soccer coach said that she is implementing what worked last season on top of new strategies to keep the team competitive against their opponents.
The team reached the quarter finals last season, losing to Stanford. Coach Rockwood shared what worked well for that success.
“‘A lot of returning players who started as sophomores or juniors, so, a lot of returning players, a lot of experience, a lot of leadership. It is not often in our sport when you get to return an entire backline, including your goalkeeper,” she said.
Rockwood added that the team was full of high energy, with capabilities of pressing high on the field, a strategy that brought in goals.
“And we like to attack everywhere on the field, so it’s kinda fun, fun group of girls to watch too, because we have a group of tremendous athletes who are very fit — who like to run, and like to attack and score,” she added.
The NCAA has approved a women’s soccer spring season with 48 teams taking part, instead of the normal 64.
The coach revealed that the first allowable date for a game is February 3, which will be challenging because of winter.
“We’ll figure it out; maybe we go on the road for the first few weeks, but we are hoping that the conference will allow us to play some non-conference games and some exhibition games prior to the conference,” Rockwood said.
Six senior players who helped the team finish fifth in the nation last season graduated, but Coach Rockwood said they have filled those positions.
“We also added six incoming freshmen to our roster this fall, and so our number right now is 27,” she said.
Other players have returned from serving their missions to bolster the squad.
They include Olivia Wade, Grace Johnson, and Natalie Wales, who joined from University of Utah.
The BYU women’s soccer coach said they have also made changes in how they train to keep the motivation high in the squad during this pandemic.
She added that they are grateful that BYU has allowed them to be back in school and train together.