Cameron Tucker dribbles against a defender at South Field in 2019. Tucker was instrumental in a pair of close games for BYU with her passing and attacking. (Hannah Miner)

BYU women’s soccer picks up first losses during California road trip

The BYU women’s soccer team was ranked No. 7 in the nation heading into last week’s road matches at No. 3 UCLA and No. 6 USC, but ended up falling to both schools in a pair of close contests.

The Cougars took on the Bruins on Feb. 13 at Wallis Annenberg Stadium in the Cougars’ first official road game of the season. 

BYU and UCLA played a hard-fought match, going into halftime with a 0-0 score. Sophomore Jamie Shepard scored the first goal of the match within three minutes of the second half’s start. Shepard hit the ball into the back of the net after a corner kick from sophomore Brecken Monzingo bounced around the goal box.

UCLA senior Marley Canales scored the Bruins’ first goal in the 59th minute on a penalty kick, evening the score at 1-1. The final goal of the match came from UCLA freshman Sunshine Fontez in the 74th minute.

BYU played hard but was unable to overcome the late goal and fell 2-1 in the first loss of the young season.

The Cougars then made the short trip to Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Feb. 15 to compete against the Trojans in a high-scoring match.

USC took the lead early, with the only goal of the first half coming from senior Tara McKeown off an assist from teammate sophomore Croix Bethune in the 11th minute.

The second half was a goal frenzy. BYU got its first point of the game as sophomore Rachel McCarthy scored on an assist from senior Cameron Tucker, tying the game at 1-1 in the 57th minute. USC took no time in regaining the lead, however, as junior Penelope Hocking hit the back of the net in the 59th minute, making the score 2-1.

BYU sophomore Bella Folino tied the match back up in the 68th minute with an assist from McCarthy. USC took the lead back within two minutes on a penalty kick from McKeown, making the score 3-2 in the 70th minute.

Folino hit her second goal and equalizer of the match in the 77th minute off another assist from McCarthy, making the score 3-3, sending the teams into overtime.

USC took the victory after Jennifer Westendorf scored USC’s fourth and final goal of the match in the extra period.

BYU dropped in the rankings to No. 10 after their losses but looks to rebound against San Diego on Feb. 20 as they open West Coast Conference play on the road.

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