BYU Olympic overview: Women’s soccer wins fourth-straight, records in field events
The BYU women’s soccer team defeated Gonzaga 4-0 on March 27 to extend its win streak to four and the track and field team broke a pair of school records in Texas. This is the BYU Olympic sports overview.
The No. 16-ranked Cougars won their two matches last week by a combined 10 goals to none, extending their current win streak to four games and moving to 5-1 in West Coast Conference play. BYU has scored at least four goals in each of the last four games.
Sophomore Rachel McCarthy scored a hat trick in a 6-0 win at San Diego on March 24, and the Cougars achieved just their fourth clean sheet of the season on March 27 against Gonzaga at home.
Head coach Jennifer Rockwood praised the Cougars after the win against Gonzaga at South Field, saying the full 90-minute effort shows the team is “really making progress.”
The team’s next four games come on the road in California against Santa Clara and Saint Mary’s next week, followed by a two-game series at Pepperdine on April 10 and 12. The Cougars next home game is the regular season finale against Portland on April 17 at South Field.
Track and field
The outdoor track and field season is now underway for BYU, immediately following an NCAA Championship run in the indoor season. The Cougars competed at the Texas Relays in Austin on March 25-27, achieving a pair of BYU records in field events.
Pole vaulter Zach McWhorter cleared 5.70 meters in the men’s pole vault to break the school record by 10 centimeters. Former Cougar and national champion Robison Pratt set the previous record of 5.60 meters in 2006.
McWhorter now holds the indoor and outdoor records at BYU, breaking previous records both set by Pratt. The All-American broke the indoor record twice this past indoor season, with the current record of 5.80 meters coming in his national runner-up performance at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Javelin thrower Ashton Riner threw 57.31 meters to smash the previous BYU record by four meters. The All-American’s throw ranks as the 25th best performance in collegiate history.
Riner’s previous best of 52.91 meters came at the UNLV Spring Opener just a few weeks prior on March 6. All-American Lindsay Johnson set the previous school record of 53.16 meters in 2002.
The BYU track and field team will next compete April 2-3 at the Hayward Premiere and UVU Invite.
The No. 15 BYU women’s volleyball team swept Saint Mary’s in back-to-back matches on the road in Moraga, California on March 26 and 26, extending the Cougars’ win streak to seven and claiming the top spot on the WCC standings with a 13-1 conference record.
Sophomore setter Whitney Bower recorded her second consecutive double-double, and her sixth in seven matches, with 38 assists and 14 digs in the second match against the Gaels.
BYU returns to Provo for the final week of the regular season with matches against Santa Clara on March 30 and 31. The Cougars can clinch the WCC title by winning both matches against the Broncos.
The No. 2 BYU men’s volleyball team traveled to Irvine, California, to take on the Concordia Eagles on March 26 and 27, sweeping both matches.
The wins marked nine-straight victories for the Cougars and three-straight sweeps in conference play. BYU has lost just one set during the nine-game win streak.
Junior Davide Gardini came alive for the Cougars against Concordia, recording eight service aces on the weekend and recording his second double-double of the season with 10 kills and 11 digs against the Eagles in the second match.
“Davide continued to improve on his range which has been a big focus for him and we’ve benefitted from that focus,” BYU head coach Shawn Olmstead said.
The BYU baseball team split its opening week at home, with a win over UVU and San Francisco, followed by a pair of losses to USF to drop the weekend series and fall to 8-13 on the season. The Cougars still have a 4-2 winning record in conference play.
The first two games of the three-game series against USF went to extra innings, with BYU winning on a walk-off in the 10th inning on March 25, and giving up a series of runs to the Dons in the 10th inning to lose 10-6 on March 26.
“They did just a little bit more than we did today,” BYU head coach Mike Littlewood said after the 3-1 loss on March 27. “Their pitchers did a great job. We hit a lot of balls hard but right at guys. Sometimes that’s how baseball works.”
The Cougars hit the road again to take on Santa Clara in a three-game series April 1-3 in California.
The BYU softball team also split its opening weekend at home in Provo, falling in its first two games to Stanford on March 24 and Boise State on March 26, before turning around and beating the Broncos in game two later the same day and then Southern Utah on March 27.
The Cougars won the game against SUU 8-0, with the mercy rule ending it in the sixth inning. Arissa Paulson struck out 10 batters in six innings of play while also allowing no hits into the fifth inning.
Rylee Jensen-McFarland scored her 191st and 192nd career runs in the game against SUU, moving her into third all-time at BYU for career runs. Emilee Erickson smashed her second homer of the weekend with a solo shot in the bottom of the fourth inning to help topple the Thunderbirds.