No. 1 BYU flexes its goalscoring muscles in 6-1 rout of Utah

No. 1 BYU women’s soccer cemented its status as the big sisters of the Beehive state, scoring six goals from four different scorers to down Utah Saturday night in Salt Lake.

Bangers were aplenty for BYU, with Allie Fryer, Olivia Smith-Griffitts and Rachel McCarthy each scoring from outside the 18-yard-box. Fryer and Smith-Griffitts both tallied another goal each and Olivia Wade-Katoa also added her name to the scorers sheet to match the Cougars’ single-game high this season. 

Since beating previous number-one-ranked UCLA on August 31, BYU has refused to succumb to any post-big-win hangover, dismantling instate rivals Utah Valley and Utah in 6-1 fashion.

“It’s a testament to our experience with our upperclassmen and the leadership of this team,” BYU Head Coach Jennifer Rockwood said. “We want to be a target. We always want to be a target, so I don’t think where we are in the rankings makes us any more of a target than we’ve been in the past.” 

Smith-Griffitts was quick to deflect any praise or recognition postgame for the number one ranking.

“I think the No. 1 thing is no one remembers who the No. 1-ranked team was in September. They only remember in December,” she said. “We said that a lot. It doesn’t matter right now. Let’s prove it when it actually matters.”

Despite conceding two early shots on target in the opening two minutes, the Cougars quickly established their mark on the game. Fryer began the scoring in the fourth minute, flashing some individual brilliance to create space from her defender before rifling a shot into the top left corner from outside the box.

Wade-Katoa doubled the Cougars’ lead in the 25th minute after forcing a turnover in the attacking third and slotting the ball home into the far right corner. Her celebration matched the flashiness of the goal, as she turned to the traveling BYU faithful and threw her hands in the air in a Gladiator-like manner as if to ask, “are you not entertained?!”

The sellout crowd, 50% of which were draped in royal blue, continued to witness offensive brilliance as Rachel McCarthy found her boot seven minutes later, sending a curling screamer to the back of the net. The goal was a near-identical replica of her jaw-dropping effort from nine days prior against UCLA.

“We know she can hit those bangers and it’s fun to watch her do that,” Rockwood said.

Utah would score a penalty kick in the 36th minute to cut the deficit to two, but BYU would tack on some insurance in the second half. Smith-Griffitts caught the Utah keeper sleeping in the 53rd minute to score near post, and Fryer scored her second in the 60th, tapping in a wonderful set up from Kendell Petersen, who leads the Cougars with seven assists on the season.

Smith-Griffitts hammered the nail into the Utes’ coffin in the 64th minute with her second of the evening, sending a missile into the top left corner which once again slipped through the ‘keeper’s hands into the back of the net.    

“I used to play center mid growing up, so it was fun to score again. I haven’t done that in a while,” Smith-Griffitts said about notching her first-career brace.

BYU’s dominance over Utah cannot be overstated, as the Cougars improve their all-time record against the team in red to 26-7-3, having not lost to the Utes since 2014.  

The 7-0-0 Cougars have outscored their opponents 28-7, averaging four goals a game while conceding just a goal per match. 

BYU opens its Big 12 conference schedule on Thursday at 7 p.m. back on home turf against TCU, the first-ever Big 12 matchup across all sports. 

“We get to play probably the toughest team in the Big 12, but fortunately we’ll be at Smith Field so we love that,” Rockwood said. “It’s a big game and we’re really looking forward to it.”

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