Seniors propel No. 4 Cougars to second-consecutive WCC Championship
PROVO, Utah – In a dominant offensive performance, the No. 4 BYU women’s soccer team claimed the West Coast Conference title and finished the season undefeated for the first time in program history with an 8-1 victory over Loyola Marymount Saturday night at South Field.
"I'm really proud of the team and how they've battled all season to prepare for this moment," BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. "We're now looking to what lies ahead with the NCAA Tournament. This senior class has had a huge impact on this program. They're one of the main reasons why the team has been successful both on and off the field. They bring maturity, leadership, fun and have created a culture for the team."
In the fourth minute, Elise Flake gave the Cougars an early 1-0 lead as she received the ball from Lizzy Braby and turned on the defender, sliding the ball past the LMU (4-12-3, 3-5-1 WCC) goalkeeper.
Just over a minute later, Braby once again on the assist, found a wide-open Ella Ballstaedt in front of the goal to extend BYU’s lead to 2-0 five minutes into the game.
The Lions answered by capitalizing on an opportunity in the seventh minute, deflecting a shot off the Cougar defense and into the back of the net to bring the score to 2-1.
After a free kick was awarded in the 18th minute, Mikayla Colohan stepped up and buried the ball into the left side of the goal, extending the lead to 3-1.
Danika Serassio added to the score from outside the 18-yard box in the 25th minute after Alyssa Jefferson passed her the ball off a free kick. Braby added a goal of her own 21 seconds later after taking on the LMU defense as BYU took a controlling 5-1 advantage into the locker room at halftime.
The Cougars’ lead was extended to 6-1 when Colohan took advantage of a loose ball in the 50th minute to kick off the scoring in the second half.
Braby once again connected with the back of the net in the 59th minute after being set up by Cameron Tucker and then Ashton Brockbank scored from outside the 18-yard box in the 66th minute to extend the BYU lead to 8-1 and round out the scoring.
On the night, the Cougars recorded 30 shots and four corner kicks while the Lions tallied 12 and four, respectively. In goal, Sabrina Davis grabbed three saves while Cassidy Smith and Josie Manwill each had one.
Seniors Ballstaedt, Serassio, Jefferson, Rachel Bingham Lyman, Braby, Davis and Flake were recognized for their impressive careers in a BYU jersey.
The Cougars await their fate in the NCAA Tournament with the Selection Show taking place on Monday, Nov. 11, at 2:30 p.m. MST. The event can be watched live on NCAA.com.
- Lizzy Braby continues to lead the offense in assists as she now has 11 on the season. Her pair of goals brought her to five this season and 10 on her career.
- Elise Flake scored her 18th goal of the season as she leads the team and the conference. She is currently fifth in the BYU record book for career goals with 38.
- Mikayla Colohan tallied her 13th and 14th goals and is 17th in the record book with 22 career goals.
- Danika Serassio buried her third goal of the season as Alyssa Jefferson tabbed her third assist.
- Ashton Brockbank scored her sixth goal this season and Ella Ballstaedt has now found the back of the net four times.
- With BYU’s first undefeated season in program history, the team outscored opponents 68 to nine.
WCC action wraps up against Gonzaga and LMU
PROVO, Utah – The No. 4 BYU women's soccer team wraps up West Coast Conference action at Gonzaga on Wednesday, Nov. 6 before hosting Loyola Marymount on Saturday, Nov. 9.
IN THE RANKINGS. Top Drawer Soccer has BYU ranked No. 4 for the third-straight week and the NCAA RPI rankings place the Cougars at No. 12. The United Soccer Coaches' poll will be released on Tuesday, Nov. 5.
LAST TIME ON THE FIELD. On the road, BYU claimed a 2-1 win over San Francisco in double overtime as SaraJayne Affleck scored in the 102nd minute. A goal by Elise Flake in the second half gave the Cougars a 1-0 lead, but the Dons managed to even the game with a goal in the 80th minute off a cross. Sabrina Davis grabbed seven saves in goal for BYU.
IN THE WCC. BYU currently sits alone in first place in the WCC rankings with a total of 19 points and a 6-0-1 record. The Broncos are in second place with 17 points, Pepperdine follows with 15 and Gonzaga is in fourth with 13.
SENIOR NIGHT. Saturday night's game against Loyola Marymount will be senior night. The team will be recognizing forward Ella Ballstaedt, midfielder Lizzy Braby, goalkeeper Sabrina Davis, forward Elise Flake, defender Alyssa Jefferson, defender Rachel Bingham Lyman and defender Danika Serassio.
No. 4 BYU (16-0-1, 6-0-1 WCC) at Gonzaga (11-5-1, 4-2-1 WCC)
- Wednesday, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m. PST, at Gonzaga Soccer Field
- Video: WCC Network
- Radio: BYU Sports Network/BYU Cougars App/107.9 FM and ESPN 960 AM/ESPN 960 AM App
- Radio Talent: Greg Wrubell (play-by-play) and Elena Medeiros (analyst)
THE BULLDOGS. Under the direction of former BYU assistant coach Chris Watkins, Gonzaga has a .676 winning percentage this season and picked up conference wins over San Diego (6-0), Portland (1-0), LMU (3-0) and Saint Mary's (1-0). The Zags have scored a total of 36 goals while allowing 18. Madeline Gotta and Samantha Heilman lead the offense with six goals apiece.
COUGARS VS. BULLDOGS. BYU leads the series 11-0 with its most recent win coming at South Field in 2018 after recording a 3-1 victory. The last time the Cougars played at Gonzaga Soccer Field, BYU walked away with a 6-3 win.
No. 4 BYU (16-0-1, 6-0-1 WCC) vs. Loyola Marymount (4-11-2, 3-4-0 WCC)
- Saturday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m. MST, at South Field
- Video: WCC Network
- Radio: 107.9 FM and ESPN 960 AM/ESPN 960 AM App
- Radio Talent: Jason Shepherd (play-by-play) and Avery Walker (analyst)
THE LIONS. After a rocky start to the season the Lions picked up a pair of wins over Pacific and San Francisco to start conference action. The Lions are looking to recover from a 3-0 loss to No. 23 Santa Clara as they play Portland and BYU to finish up the season.
COUGARS VS. LIONS. The Cougars are on top in the series with an 8-1-1 overall record. In 2018, BYU earned a 2-0 win in Los Angeles.