BYU players celebrate with Mikayla Colohan, middle, following one of her two goals against Ohio State. (Dallin Wilks)

BYU women’s soccer shuts out Ohio State 3-0 in season opener

Mikayla Colohan’s pair of goals propelled No. 15 BYU women’s soccer to a 3-0 shutout victory against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the regular-season opener Thursday night in Provo.

The Cougars controlled the majority of the contest, taking nine shots on goal compared to just two for the Buckeyes. Aggressive defensive hustle put BYU in positions to score throughout the night and ultimately kept Ohio State off the scoreboard.

“It takes a lot to play the style we do; these girls are fit and work hard,” head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. “They came with a lot of defensive energy and that’s what really set us up to score our goals tonight.”

Colohan’s two goals both came in the first half, as the reigning West Coast Conference Offensive Player of the Year looked to fill the void left by teammate Cameron Tucker, who was sidelined with an injury.

“She’s a phenomenal player and we rely on her quite a lot,” Rockwood said of Colohan. “We told her she had to pick it up a bit, so she did.”

Forward Ellie Maughan, just seven months removed from a broken leg, came off the bench to score with 10 minutes left in the game to officially bury any hope of Buckeye comeback. Midfielder Olivia Smith assisted on all three Cougar goals and served as a top contributor on defense.

“I think our team is always ready to play, so when somebody goes down the next person is ready to step up,” Colohan said.

The Buckeyes suffered from a collective lack of discipline, picking up two yellow cards and 11 total fouls while allowing 10 corner kicks from the Cougars. Ohio State, the 26th-ranked team in the nation, showed a solid effort on defense, but the Cougars exploited every possible weakness to control the tempo from the beginning.

“It’s a great statement for us playing a real quality opponent,” Rockwood said. “We have high expectations this year so it’s just another step to getting there.”

The Cougars face Auburn on the road this Saturday before returning to South Field to face No. 14 USC on Aug. 26.

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