Jamie Shepherd and Bella Folino embrace after a goal against Pacific on Oct. 16. (Dallin Wilks)

BYU women’s soccer blazes past Pacific 6-1 to advance to 4-0 in conference play

The No. 15 BYU women’s soccer team tied its season-best for goals in a half with five first-half goals against Pacific to move to 9-3-1 and 4-0 in West Coast Conference play on Oct. 16 at South Field in Provo.

The scoring was done by committee, with four different Cougars: Mikayla Colohan, Grace Johnson, Rachel McCarthy and Bella Folino scoring one goal each, and senior Cameron Tucker scoring two.

It was initially expected to be more of a defensive battle, as Pacific goalkeeper Brenna Crump had only allowed seven goals in 13 games before playing the Cougars. High-scoring games have been the norm for BYU this year, with the team averaging almost four goals per contest this season.

Cameron Tucker faces off against a Pacific defender on Oct. 16 at South Field. Tucker scored two goals against the Tigers and is tied for the team lead with 11 goals this season. (Dallin Wilks)

BYU leads the nation in goals per game, shots per game and corner kicks per game.

Tucker, along with fellow senior Mikayla Colohan, have led the way scoring-wise for the team this season, each having scored 11 goals apiece. 

When asked about what has made the offensive attack so potent, sophomore Laveni Vaka said, “Every day before a game we do specific drills. (We) were able to get so many (goals) off with so many different looks because we just do so many different runs in practice.” 

Johnson’s goal was her first as a Cougar, with the senior defender transferring from the University of Mississippi last year.

Olivia Smith battles with a Pacific player on Oct. 16 at South Field. Smith assisted on Grace Johnson’s first goal as a Cougar. (Dallin Wilks)

“Thankfully Olivia played a perfect ball to me,” Johnson said of the goal. “I’ve had a few chances this year for corners, and I’ve had four goal-line saves which is very frustrating. So I am just so glad it went in.” 

BYU has looked nearly unstoppable at home this season, having lost just one game against Utah State at South Field. The victory over Pacific and 4-0 start to West Coast Conference play have the Cougars hopeful to win the conference championship this year.

BYU is tied with Pepperdine and Santa Clara for first place in the WCC. Showdowns with both the Waves and the Broncos are still to come in conference play. The future is bright for the Cougars if the goals continue to roll in as they have in recent weeks.

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