Battle of the WCC: No. 13 BYU women’s soccer faces Santa Clara
The showdown between two of the WCC’s soccer powerhouses is now set to be a matchup between two top-25 teams. This week BYU moved up six spots in the rankings to No. 13, with Santa Clara joining the party by jumping to No. 23 in the most recent United Soccer Coaches poll.
“It’s going to be a big game, I mean every game this conference has been a big game for us,” midfielder Jamie Shepherd said. “They always make us and Santa Clara play towards the end because it’s always a big game.”
And a big game it’s going to be.
The last match between the Cougars and the Broncos was last year’s NCAA College Cup semifinals. BYU scrapped off a win in that game, winning 3-2 in penalty kicks which sent them to the National Championship. Seeing that this year’s game will be BYU’s final match at South Field should play in favor of the Cougars.
“We always kinda have struggled going and playing at Santa Clara. They always make us play during the day, but nothing is like playing at south field. The fans we get, the stadium, and the field is just an amazing environment,” Shepherd said. “We’re just excited. We’re ready. We’ve been building off each game just getting better and glad its at home in front of our fans on south field. So we’re excited to come out and play and hopefully get the results we want.”
In a season where the Cougars struggled early to find the back of the net, they seem to have found their rhythm at just the right time.
“I felt like the team we kinda had a couple of hard games early in our season and then finally the last two we played we turned a corner and now we are able to just score some goals,” forward Allie Fryer said. “It’s just an awesome feeling to know that we are finishing our shots and that we are actually taking away the win. I think it’s noticeable to see that we are finally clicking as a team and we are finally able to find the back of the net.”
BYU’s all time record against Santa Clara currently sits at 3-9-6. While history has often not been in favor of the Cougars, they have a simple game plan when it comes to Saturday’s game.
“Score first,” Fryer said. “Then keep the lead. Score first, set the tone of the game and then shut them out.”
Kickoff for the game will be 6 p.m. MDT at South Field with the game being broadcasted on BYUtv and the BYUtv app. Fans can also listen to the game live on BYU radio.
The lights will be shining bright when the game kicks off, but the expectation never changes for the Cougars.
“We’re winning,” Shepherd insisted.