SALT LAKE CITY -- Playing in the semifinals of the Mountain West Conference Tournament, senior Lydia Ojuka poured it on for the BYU women's soccer team as the Cougars defeated New Mexico 3-2 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Ojuka scored two goals in the contest and propelled BYU into the MWC Championship game for the fifth-consecutive year, where the Cougars have won all four MWC titles.
"Lydia stepped it up for us today, " said BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood. "She had a couple of nice goals and gave us that lift that we needed."
In the game, The Cougars needed someone to step up and give them that lift as the team came out flat and struggled to execute throughout the first half.
When the buzzer sounded at the end of the first period the two teams headed to the locker room with the score even at 0-0 despite the Cougars' dominating half where BYU out shot New Mexico 7-1.
Junior Jaime Rendich had a couple of good looks at the goal but was unable to knock any of her three shots through the pipes, including two shots on goal.
With less than 20 seconds less in the period freshman Nicole Jensen sent a free kick into the box where it connected with the head of freshman Annie Zwahlen, but New Mexico keeper Kristen Winters snagged the ball just as it was going to go in the net.
During the half Rockwood challenged the Cougars to pick up their intensity of play and attack the goal.
But only five minutes into the second period, New Mexico came up with the first goal of the game putting the Lobos up 1-0.
Amy Nelson scored for the Lobos as BYU keeper Ashley Smith came up to make the stop on a long passs by New Mexico, the ball was bobbled and Nelson tapped in the ball from 15 yards out.
The Lobos goal seemed to inject new life into the Cougars as the team began pushing the ball up the field and fought to maintain possession, the fighting paid off.
Senior Aleisha Rose answered back for the Cougars and tied the game up at one apiece with a strike from 18 yards out on the left side that zipped past Winters and into the far right corner of the net.
Needing at least one more goal to get the win, Ojuka came up with her biggest goal of the season as sophomore Brooke Thulin crossed the ball into the box where senior Terra Bigelow headed the ball out to Ojuka setting up what would have been the game-winning goal from 12 yards out.
The goal was Ojuka's second of the tournament and seventh on the season, but the former MWC Tournament MVP wasn't finished scoring yet.
With Winters playing up near the midfield line, Ojuka took advantage of the empty net and sent in a bomb from 55 yards out in the 84th minute and scoring what would become the game-winning strike.
Now down 3-1, the Lobos did not give up as the Lobos' Kellee Hafner slipped on past Smith to close the margin to 3-2 with less than five minutes left to play.
However, the Cougars would hold on for the win and advance to the championship game for the fifth-straight year and improved their MWC Tournament record to 11-0.
The MWC Championship will be decided on Saturday, Nov. 8, at 12:00 p.m. (MDT) between BYU and the winner of tonight's match between No. 1 seed Utah and No. 5 seed UNLV.
MWC Championship - Semifinal Round
The BYU women's soccer team is set to battle for its fifth-straight Mountain West Conference Championship as the team heads to Salt Lake City, Utah, for the MWC Tournament being held at Ute Field on the campus of the University of Utah.
The Cougars opened up play in the tournament as the No. 2 seed and faced the No. 7 seed, Air Force, in the opening game of the tournament on Wednesday morning.
Earlier this season on Oct. 11, BYU (12-5-2, 4-2-0) defeated the Falcons (7-10-1, 1-5-0) 4-0 in Provo. The Cougars own a 6-0 all-time record against the Falcons, including an 8-1 win back in 2000, the last time the two teams met on a neutral field.
Since the beginning of the MWC Tournament, the Cougars have compiled a 9-0 record and claimed all four Tournament Championships.
To make it back to the championship game and repeat for a fifth-straight year, the Cougars must now defeat the Lobos.
The semifinals will be held at 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. (MDT) on Thursday, Nov. 6, with the Cougars playing the early game. The MWC Championship Game will be played at 12 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 8, with the winner receiving an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
After squeaking past the Cougars 1-0 in overtime, the Utes receive the first-round bye in the tournament, Wyoming gets the No. 3 seed, San Diego State is No. 4, UNLV comes in at No. 5 and New Mexico is the No. 6 seed,
Kickoff for BYU and New Mexico in the MWC Tournament semifinals is set for 2:00 p.m. (MDT) on Thursday, Nov. 6, at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Four-Time MWC Champions
Since the inception of the MWC in 1999, the Cougars have dominated the conference championships winning both the regular season and tournament championship titles. The Cougars have been dominant in conference play with a regular season MWC record of 25-3 and an undefeated MWC Championship record of 9-0. Coming into the final regular-season game of 2003, the Cougars have an all-time MWC combined record of 34-3.
Scouting Report: MWC Schools
Utah grabbed the No. 1 seed after defeating BYU in the final regular-season game of the year. The Utes and Cougars share the top statistical rankings in the conference, as the two teams are No. 1 or No. 2 in every category. The Utes compiled a MWC record of 6-0-0 on the year by out scoring MWC opponents 15-1. Utah recorded shutouts in all conference games except for a 5-1 win over UNLV. Amber Brower and Lauren Field lead the Utes with eight and seven goals apiece while Amanda Feight has dished out eight assists and Missy Dennis has dished out seven assists of her own. Keeper Ashley Mason has posted five shutouts on the year including three in conference games while allowing four goals with 43 saves.
No. 3 seed Wyoming is the surprise team in the conference as the Cowgirls were the preseason pick to finish at the bottom of the MWC, Wyoming finished with the same conference record as BYU did (4-2-0), but gets the No. 3 seed as the Cougars defeated the Cowgirls 5-1 in Provo. Wyoming has scored eight goals on the season against MWC opponents while getting off only 10 shots per game. Mari Gomes and Mercy Adetoye lead the Cowgirls with five and four goals, respectively. Wyoming is capable of a breakout scoring game as they proved when they posted nine goals against JSU earlier this year. Keeper Lori Scheider has recorded a GAA of 1.30 as she has made 126 saves and allowed 22 goals on the year with seven shutouts to her credit.
After finishing the MWC season with a 2-3-1 record, San Diego State received the No. 4 seed in the tournament. On the year, the Aztecs have out shot their opponents 231-199, but have been outscored 18-25. Kim Castellanos leads the Aztecs in goals with six scores this season. Becky Prillman is next on the list with two goals and four assists on the year. The scoring has been spread around on the team with 11 athletes recording at least one goal. Keeper Stephanie Pearson is the only Aztec to see time in goal this year where she has recorded seven shutouts, made 59 saves and allowed 23 goals for a GAA of 1.33. Against MWC opponents Pearson is tied for the most shutouts with three games to her credit.
UNLV comes into the tournament as the No. 5 seed with a 2-4-0 MWC record. After dropping their first four conference games, the Rebels are riding a two-game winning streak after defeating Air Force and San Diego State. The Rebels rank fourth in the conference for goals this season with five scores to their credit. The team also ranks sixth in goals allowed giving up 10 goals on the year in six games. UNLV has averaged 12.17 shots per game with Annii Magliulo taking 56 shots on the year resulting in eight goals while teammate Erin Egertson has four goals and four assists to her credit. Keeper Jenna Huff has posted six shutouts on the year including two shutouts in MWC play. Huff has a GAA of 1.18 with 18 goals allowed on the year with 102 saves.
New Mexico, the No. 6 seed, will face-off against Wyoming on Wednesday with the winner playing the winner of the BYU/Air Force game. The Lobos have struggled this season to find the back of the net as the team has compiled five goals on the season, including two goals in conference play. Kristine Sweat leads the Lobos with three goals while teammate Rachel Addison has added two of her own. The team is keeping good pace with opponents on as the team has only been out shot 262-203 on the year. Keeper Kristen Winters has allowed 23 goals on the year but made 104 saves giving her a save percentage of 82 percent and she has also recorded five shutouts. New Mexico comes into the tournament with a GAA of 1.43 with nine goals allowed in conference play.
The Falcons come into Wednesday's game as the No. 7 seed and ranking near the bottom in almost every statistical category in the MWC. The team has allowed 12 goals in six games, while scoring twice in conference play. Jennifer Rowland leads the Falcons with five goals and one assist on the year. Teammates Cookie Day and Meredith Simmons have each handed out two assists on the year. Keeper J.J. Wolf has had a strong season for Air Force as she has recorded 103 saves while allowing 29 goals on the year and three shutouts. The team is also getting off an average of 9.17 shots per game against MWC opponents.
Rose Named MWC Defensive Player of the Year
Senior All-American Aleisha Rose was named the 2003 Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year on Tuesday after guiding the Cougars to a 12-5-2 regular season record. Rose, the most decorated soccer athlete in BYU history, won the award after her dominating play in the midfield throughout the conference season. This is the first year that the MWC has awarded separate Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year honors instead of a single player of the year. This is not the first time Rose has been cited as the top soccer player in the MWC. As a freshman Rose won the MWC Freshman of the Year and then as a sophomore was named the 2001 MWC Player of the Year.
Six Pack of All-MWC
At the Mountain West Conference pre-championship banquet, six Cougars earned recognition from MWC coaches for their standout play during the 2003 conference season. Being recognized for their strong play on the field was senior Aleisha Rose, junior Krissa Campbell and senior Jennifer Fielding. This is the fourth time that Rose has received All-MWC first-team honors, while Campbell and Fielding each picked up their first citations. As one of the most dominant players in the country, Rose lead BYU to a 12-5-2 regular season finish with Campbell and Fielding providing much of the offensive punch for the team. Senior Terra Bigelow and freshmen Claire Thomas and Nicole Jensen garnered second-team All-MWC citations. Bigelow ranked first in the MWC in goals with four strikes on the year while Thomas and Jensen teamed up to help anchor the BYU defense which gave up only six goals in MWC play. BYU and Utah led all MWC teams garnering six all conference selections apiece while each placed three athletes on the first-team and three more on the second-team.
The Last Time: New Mexico
Playing at home in the MWC opener, BYU defeated New Mexico by a score of 5-1 on Oct. 9, 2003. The Cougars played tough all night as they out shot the Lobos 29-7, claimed a 5-0 advantage on corner kicks and tallied the most goals in a single game this season. Senior Jennifer Fielding scored the first goal for the Cougars only seven minutes into the game after Lobos keeper Kristen Winters deflected a shot by senior Lydia Ojuka and Fielding smacked in the ball for the early 1-0 lead. Freshman Annie Zwahlen kept things going for BYU by scoring her fourth goal of the season to put the Cougars up 2-0 in the 37th minute. The Lobos managed to answer before the end of the first period of play when Kristine Sweat managed to sneak up on Cougar keeper Natalie Evans to bring New Mexico within one heading into the half. After the break the Cougars came out strong, once again applying the pressure to the New Mexico defense in an effort to push their lead beyond a single goal. Senior Terra Bigelow answered the call for the Cougars as she and Fielding hooked up on the first goal of the second period that put the Cougars up 3-1. With time winding down junior Krissa Campbell put the game out of reach as she scored off of freshman Courtney Asay's touch pass by sending a rocket past Winters. Only one minute later, senior Aleisha Rose added a little insurance to the Cougars' win by striking from 30 yards out with a chip-shot that floated over Winters' head and hit the back of the net giving the Cougars a 5-1 win.
Bigelow On the Move
Senior Terra Bigelow has provided a much of the Cougar offense over the past month. Dating back to Sept. 23 against Gonzaga, Bigelow has scored a goal or dished out an assist in seven of the last 10 games. She currently leads the team with seven goals on the year.
200 And Still Going
On Oct. 18, 2003, head coach Jennifer Rockwood coached her 200th career game as the Cougars traveled to Las Vegas to play UNLV, and came away with a 3-2 win. Over the span of those 200 games, Rockwood has managed to win an impressive 18.85 games per season and currently ranks eighth among active Division I coaches in winning percentage with 78 percent of all her games ending in Cougar victories. Rockwood recently reached the 150 win plateau with a home victory over No. 14 USC on Oct. 3, 2003.
150 And Counting
On Friday, Oct. 3, Coach Jennifer Rockwood earned her 150th career-win as the Cougars defeated No. 14 USC 2-1 at South Stadium. Rockwood became the first Mountain West Conference coach to reach the 150 win plateau and currently ranks eighth among active Division I coaches. She is also the first MWC to reach 100 wins
ROCKWOOD AMONG COACHING ELITE
Rockwood currently ranks eighth in winning percentage among active NCAA Division I coaches with an impressive 142-39-3 (.780) overall record for her career. Anson Dorrance, John Walker, Chris Petrucelli, Becky Burleigh and the late Clive Charles are the only coaches ahead of her. Over the last seven seasons, Rockwood has averaged 18.85 wins per year, an average that has her ranked second behind only Anson Dorrance of North Carolina.
On the season the Cougars have entered into extra time in four seperate games this season. The Cougars have been unable to gain the advantage in those games recording a 0-3-2 record in overtime. Two of the loses came in 2-3 finishes, while the third was a 1-0 final.
BYU Statistc Break Down
BYU currently rank in the top three in every statistical category in the MWC this season. The Cougars are averaging 22.33 shots per game and 2.83 goals per contest, both categories are tops in the conference. On the year, the Cougars have scored 17 goals against MWC opponents while allowing six. The team has out shot MWC teams 364-150 over the six conference games. Senior Terra Bigelow has scored a goal in four out of six conference games and is tied for first-place in the MWC for total goals and second in goals per game with a 0.67 average. Bigelow is also the team's leading scorer with seven goals on the year. Senior Aleisha Rose isn't far behind with three goals against conference foes, ranking her third in total goals and fourth in goals per game. Rose is the conference leader in assists with 10 assists and her 20 points on the year has her tied for first in the conference. With the game on the line, nobody has come up bigger for the Cougars than freshman Annie Zwahlen who is second in the conference for game-winning goals. Her three game winners have included the winning goals against No. 7 Tennessee and No. 14 USC. Goalkeeper Ashley Smith has 5 shutouts on the year while the Cougar team has the second most in the MWC with seven on the year.
Since BYU became a Div. I program back in 1995, the team has become a constant figure in the NCAA Tournament. The Cougars have recorded six-consecutive appearances in the post season from 1997-2002. In 1998 BYU made its first appearance in the Sweet 16 after defeating UCLA in Los Angeles 2-0. The following year the team did it again as the Cougars blanked California 2-0 to once again advance to the Sweet 16. In 2000 and 2001 BYU earned first-round byes to the invitational. Last year the Cougars lost in the first-round of the tournament to MWC and in-state rival Utah in a 2-3 overtime loss. It was the first time since 1997 when Santa Clara defeated BYU 1-0, that the Cougars had made a first-round exit in the tournament. Over the six appearances in the post season the Cougars have amassed a 5-6 overall record while recording 19 goals and allowing 15.
Last Game: 1st Round MWC Tournament v. AFA
Behind the offensive push of junior Krissa Campbell, No. 2 seed BYU defeated No. 7 seed Air Force 2-0 in the first round of the Mountain West Conference Tournament. In Wednesday's game, the Cougars came out slow, but managed to get things going and outplayed the Falcons on both sides of the ball as BYU out shot the Academy 14-3 and recorded the team's eighth shutout of the year. The Cougars struck with the first goal of the tournament in the first period of the game when Rose took a corner kick from the right side of the field and found senior Lydia Ojuka whose header floated into the upper left-hand corner of the Falcon goal beyond the reach of two defenders. In the second period of action BYU came out strong by attacking the goal once again and getting rewarded with the second goal of the game in the 50th minute when Campbell drilled in a shot from 18 yards out off a pass from Ojuka.
MWC Team Standings
Team (Rk.) W L T Pct W L T Pct
Utah (17)............ 6 0 0 1.000 15 2 0 .882
BYU.................. 4 2 0 .667 12 5 2 .684
Wyoming............ 4 2 0 .667 10 8 0 .556
San Diego State... 2 3 1 .417 7 9 2 .444
UNLV.............. 2 4 0 .333 8 9 2 .474
New Mexico....... 1 4 1 .250 2 11 4 .235
Air Force.......... 1 5 0 .167 7 10 1 .417
2003 Highs And Lows
Cat. High Last Time (times) Low Last Time (times)
Goals 5 Oct. 23 v. Wyo(3) 0 Nov. 1 v. #14 Utah (4)
Assists 6 Sept. 8 v. SUU (1) 0 Nov. 1 v. #14 Utah (4)
Shots 30 Oct. 18 at UNLV (1) 8 Nov. 1 v. #14 Utah (4)
Points 16 Sept. 8 v. SUU (1) 0 Nov. 1 v. #14 Utah (4)
Corners 14 Sept. 8 v. SUU (1) 0 Oct. 3 v. #14 USC (1)
Fouls 17 Aug. 29 v. #17 Mich(1) 8 Oct. 23 v. Wyo(1)
Saves 6 Oct. 18 at UNLV (3) 0 Oct. 16 at SDSU(1)
GA 3 Sept. 26 v. #2 Florida (2) 0 Oct. 11 v. Air Force(7)
Tops of the NCAA
Category No. Name Actual
Assists in one game 2 Aleisha Rose 4
Assists per game 23 Aleisha Rose 0.56/game
Tops of the Mountain West
Category No. Name Actual
Shots 1 BYU 364 total
Shots/game 1 BYU 19.16/game
Points/game 1 BYU 6.37/game
Goals 1 BYU 43 total
Goals/game 1 BYU 2.26/game
Assists T-1 BYU 35 total
Assists/game 2 BYU 1.84/game
GAA 1 BYU 0.91/game
GA 2 BYU 18 total
Shutout percentage T-3 BYU 0.37 /game
Corners/game 1 BYU 6.89/game
Attendance 1 BYU 1,302/game
Home Attendance 1 BYU 1,595/game
Away Attendance 1 BYU 777/game
Individual No. Name Actual
Shots/game 3 Aleisha Rose 2.79/game
5 Lydia Ojuka 2.68/game
Points T-11 Aleisha Rose 20 total
Points/game 3 Aleisha Rose 1.05/game
Goals T-3 Terra Bigelow 7 total
Goals/game 5 Terra Bigelow 0.37/game
Game-winning goals T-3 Annie Zwahlen 3 total
T-5 Lydia Ojuka 2 total
T-5 Jaime Rendich 2 total
T-5 Jennifer Fielding 2 total
Assists 1 Aleisha Rose 10 total
Assists/game 1 Aleisha Rose 0.53/game
Assists in one game 1 Aleisha Rose 4 total
Shutouts 4 Ashley Smith 5 total
Shutout per game 3 Ashley Smith 0.38/game
GAA 2 Ashley Smith 0.90 in 1197:07
Category No. Name Actual
Shots/game 1 BYU 22.33/game
Points/game 2 BYU 6.83/game
Goals 1 BYU 17 total
Goals/game 1 BYU 2.83/game
Assists 2 BYU 7 total
Assists/game 2 BYU 1.17/game
GAA 3 BYU 0.99/game
GA T-2 BYU 6 total
Shutout percentage 6 BYU 0.17/game
Corners/game 2 BYU 5.17/game
Attendance 1 BYU 1,077/game
Home Attendance 1 BYU 1,402/game
Away Attendance 6 BYU 426/game
Individual No. Name Actual
Shots 1 Krissa Campbell 22 total
2 Jennifer Fielding 21 total
Shots/game 1 Krissa Campbell 3.67/game
2 Jennifer Fielding 3.50/game
Points T-2 Terra Bigelow 9 total
T-4 Aleisha Rose 6 total
Points/game T-3 Terra Bigelow 1.50/game
T-5 Aleisha Rose 1.00/game
Goals T-1 Terra Bigelow 4 total
T-3 Aleisha Rose 3 total
Goals/game T-2 Terra Bigelow 0.67/game
T-4 Aleisha Rose 0.50/game
Assists T-2 Courtney Asay 2 total
Assists/game 2 Courtney Asay 0.40/game
Game-winning goals T-2 Annie Zwahlen 1 total
T-2 Jennifer Fielding 1 total
T-2 Aleisha Rose 1 total
T-2 Terra Bigelow 1 total
GAA 2 Ashley Smith 0.89 in 304:47
The Assist Queen
Senior All-American Aleisha Rose tallied four assists against Southern Utah on Sept. 8, setting a new BYU school record and South Stadium record for most assists in a single game. The previous record of three assists was shared by Natalyn Lewis, Athelia Graham and Shauna Rohbock. With her assist on Terra Bigelow's goal in the 52nd minute against SUU, Rose became the No. 1 all-time career assist leader at BYU, passing Michelle J. Peterson who set the mark in 2000 with 38 career assists.
Ranking Or No Ranking
The Cougars are 3-2-1 against opponents ranked in the top 25 this season. BYU defeated No. 7 Tennessee 1-0, No. 14 Kentucky 2-1, No. 14 USC 2-1 and tied No. 17 Michigan 0-0 in double overtime. The only ranked teams to beat BYU are No. 2 Florida, who defeated the Cougars 3-2 in overtime, and the No. 14 Utah in the final regular-season game of the year. At home the Cougars are 2-2-1 and 1-0-0 on the road with the lone road game being against Kentucky.
Rose On Hermann Trophy Watch List
Three-time All-American senior Aleisha Rose, of the BYU women's soccer team, was named to the Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy watch in late August. The M.A.C.'s Hermann Trophy is college soccer's equivalent to the Heisman Trophy and represents the highest level of individual achievement in the sport.
Rose, a preseason All-American, is one of 15 athletes who make up the watch list that includes the top Division I athletes in the country. Past recipients include some of the biggest names in soccer, such as Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly, Shannon MacMillan, Cindy Parlow, Claudio Reyna, Tony Meola and Alexi Lalas.
Rose Named Preseason All-America
In August, Soccer America announced its 2003 preseason All-Americans, and heading up the list is three-time All-American senior Aleisha Rose of the BYU women's soccer team. Rose is one of 11 athletes that makes up the 2003 Soccer America preseason All-American list.
Rose, a native of Lakewood, Colo., is one of the most decorated athletes to ever play for the Cougars and has been an integral part to the team's success the past three seasons.
Cougar Awards in 2003
Preseason All-American - Aleisha Rose
Hermann Trophy candidate - Aleisha Rose
Soccer Buzz Elite Team of the Week:
- Midfielder, Aleisha Rose 9/16
Soccer America Team of the Week:
- Defender, Claire Thomas 9/8
- Midfielder, Aleisha Rose 9/16
- Forward, Annie Zwahlen 10/6
MWC Defensive Player of the Year - Aleisha Rose
All-MWC First-Team - Aleisha Rose
- Jennifer Fielding
- Krissa Campbell
All-MWC Second Team - Terra Bigelow
- Nicole Jensen
- Claire Thomas
Offensive Player of the Week - Aleisha Rose 9/15
Defensive Player of the Week - Nicole Jensen 9/2
- Claire Thomas 9/8
- Britney Holman 10/6
Cougar Awards in 2002
NSCAA ALL-AMERICAN: Aleisha Cramer-Rose, 2nd Team
NSCAA All-West Region: Aleisha Cramer-Rose, 1st Team; Jeni Viernes, 1st Team; Brooke Bowman, 3rd Team
SOCCER BUZZ ALL-AMERICAN: Aleisha Cramer-Rose, 3rd Team; Brooke Bowman, Freshman 3rd Team
SOCCER BUZZ ALL-WEST REGION: Aleisha Cramer-Rose, 1st Team; Jeni Viernes, 1st Team; Brooke Bowman, All-Freshman Team
MWC PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Jeni Viernes
MWC FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Brooke Bowman
MWC FIRST TEAM: Aleisha Cramer-Rose, Jeni Viernes, Brooke Bowman
MWC SECOND TEAM: Annie Hoecherl, Charlene Lui
MWC TOURNAMENT MVP: Jeni Viernes
MWC TOURNAMENT TEAM: Aleisha Cramer-Rose, Jeni Viernes, Jennifer Fielding-Henry, Brooke Bowman
MWC ACADEMIC ALL-CONFERENCE: Brooke Bowman, Aleisha Cramer-Rose, Jennifer Fielding-Henry, Katherine Gabbart, Britney Holman, Charlene Lui, Terra Smith-Bigelow, Jeni Viernes
Standing Room Only
A record crowd packed into South Stadium on Friday, Sept. 5 to watch the Cougars take on the No. 7 Tennessee Lady Vols. The game drew a standing-room-only crowd with 2,758 fans in attendance, breaking the old record of 2,191 set one week earlier in the season opener against No. 17 Michigan. That mark fell once again as 2,412 fans were on hand to watch No. 2 Florida and BYU battled to a 3-2 overtime Gator win on Sept. 26.
For the past eight years South Stadium, formerly South Field, has been the battlefield for the Cougars as they have taken on, and defeated, the top teams in their conference and in the NCAA. The Cougars have amassed a 80-13-2 (.861) record at home, a record that is among the best in the nation over the same time period.
Of those 80 home-game wins, an outstanding 44 have ended in a shutout. The Cougars consistently hold their opponents scoreless when playing at South Stadium with 55 percent of all their games ending in shutout victories, while BYU has been shutout only five times in the stadium's history.
The Stadium's crowds consistently rank in the top 15 in the NCAA for the largest crowds in the country. With an average attendance of 1,075 fans during the 2002 campaign, the Cougars had the 15th largest attendance average in the country making South Stadium one of the toughest places for opponents to play in college today.
The Rockwood File
In only eight short years, head coach Jennifer Rockwood has taken the BYU women's soccer team to national prominence and established herself as one of the premier coaches in Division I soccer today.
Rockwood currently ranks eighth in winning percentage among active NCAA coaches with an impressive 142-39-3 (.780) overall record for her career, with the likes of Anson Dorrance, John Walker, Chris Petrucelli, Becky Burleigh and Clive Charles being the only coaches ahead of her. Over the last seven seasons, Rockwood has averaged 18.85 wins per year, an average that has her ranked second behind only Anson Dorrance of North Carolina.
In eight years as head coach, Rockwood has guided the Cougars to five conference championships. After going undefeated in conference play and winning their fourth straight Mountain West Conference title last season, the Cougars managed to remain the only team to win the conference title in the history of the MWC.
On the national scene, Rockwood and her teams have made six consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament and reached the "Sweet Sixteen" in 1998 and 2000. Under the watch of Rockwood, the Cougars have also had seven consecutive top-25 finishes including last season's No. 23 finish.
Among the many achievements and awards she has received over her career, Rockwood has been honored with two Coach of the Year citations, one by the Western Athletic Conference in 1996, and then by the MWC in 2000. She also became the first MWC coach to eclipse the 100-win total mark when the Cougars shutout Milwaukee-Wisconsin 2-0 on Sept. 23, 2000.
Under Rockwood's tutelage, a long list of All-American soccer players has emerged from BYU's program. These athletes include Aleisha Rose, Jeni Viernes, and Michelle Jensen. Among the players who have been coached by Rockwood are four athletes that were drafted by the women's United Soccer Association: Shauna Rohbock, Maren Hendershot, Sara Reading, and Staci Reynolds.
Prior to becoming the head coach, Rockwood led BYU's highly successful club soccer team for seven years. In that time she amassed an overall record of 128-25-9, and in the final two years she took her teams to the Western National Collegiate Club soccer Association (NCCSA) title and placed second in the NCCSA National Championships.
The Lake Oswego, Ore. native was a three-sport athlete in college playing soccer, basketball, and track. After one year at Ricks College on a basketball scholarship, she transferred to BYU where she became a four-year starter at center midfield on the Cougars' club soccer team. Rockwood has also coached in the Utah ODP, youth club programs, and at the high school level.
Year W L T Conference
1995 11 8 1 WAC
1996 22 1 0 WAC
1997 19 4 0 WAC
1998 20 5 0 WAC
1999 21 4 0 MWC
2000 19 4 1 MWC
2001 14 7 1 MWC
2002 16 6 0 MWC
2003 12 4 2 MWC
Total 154 43 5 (.783)
BYU club team under Rockwood:
128-25-9 (.790), six years (1989-1994)
This season's incoming class of Cougar freshman can be expected to make strong contributions to the team, with five of the nine recruits hailing from Utah.
With the loss of some key defenders from last year's squad, expect freshmen Claire Thomas, and Nicole Jensen to make an immediate impact for BYU.
Jensen was a 2002 All-State selection out of Denver, CO, and Thomas was a 2002 and 2003 Barons All-Tournament Team selection as well as a 2002 second-team All-Palomar athlete, and joins the team at 16 years of age.
Among the Utah athletes headed to BYU is the 5A MVP in 2002 Elizabeth Affleck (redshirting the 2003 season) out of Alta High School and the two-time 4A MVP Courtney Asay from Mountain View High School.
The Cougars' incoming class ranks along side with the best classes the school has ever had. Affleck and Bobbi Tillotson were both members of the 5A State Championship Alta High School, and Asay, Haylee Cuthbert, and Ali Williams all played for the three-time 4A State Championship Mountian View Bruins.
Home Sweet Home
The 2003 regular schedule is set to be one of the best home game schedules in school history. The Cougars will be playing 13 of their 19 regular season games at South Stadium. Highlighting this season's home schedule will be three teams that finished in the 2002 NSCAA top-25: No. 11 Michigan, No. 10 Tennessee, and No. 22 USC. BYU will also host four teams that are ranked in the NSCAA preseason top-25: No. 14 Tennessee, No. 17 Michigan, No. 19 USC and No. 21 Florida.
In the past home field advantage has paid great dividends for the Cougars as the team has amassed an impressive 61-10-1 record at home. In the those games BYU has managed to shut out its opponent 38 times, while losing only four games in a shutout.
Also included in the home schedule is the 1998 NCAA Championship team, Florida, as well as in-state rivals Southern Utah, Weber State, and Utah. The Cougars and Utes will face-off in the final regular season home game for BYU on Nov. 1 at South Stadium.
With seven teams on the regular season schedule that qualified for the 2002 NCAA Tournament, this year's schedule promises to be one of the most competitive seasons for the Cougars who finished No. 23 in the NSCAA final rankings last year and are No. 24 in the NSCAA preseason poll.
Cougars Picked Second in mwc preseason
The Mountain West Conference announced its 2003 preseason poll Monday with the league's coaches selecting BYU to finish second behind Utah.
One point and one vote separated the Cougars and the Utes in the voting, with BYU totaling 33 points and three first place votes, while Utah grabbed 34 points with four first place votes.
For the 2003 season BYU returns eight starters and 11 letterwinners while the Utes return six starters and 14 letterwinners.
MWC Preseason Coaches' Poll
Pl. Team (1st pl. votes) Points
1. Utah (4) 34
2. BYU (3) 33
3. New Mexico 26
4. UNLV 19
5. San Diego State 18
6. Air Force 9
7. Wyoming 8
Four-straight MWC Titles
With a 2-1 win over Utah in the final game of the regular season, BYU ensured itself a fourth-straight MWC Regular Season Championship.
The Cougars first goal of the game came in the 41st minute on a header by sophomore forward/midfielder Kimmie Davis. Senior forward Jeni Willardson-Viernes put BYU up 2-0, scoring her sixth game-winning goal of the season in the 64th minute on a pass from junior All-American Aleisha Cramer-Rose. Utah's only goal came on a penalty kick by Ute forward Shauna Gurr-Bingham.
Going into the MWC Tournament the Cougars earned a first-round bye before defeating San Diego State 9-2 in the second-round. The win advanced BYU to the championship game where they came out on top of New Mexico 5-1, winning their fourth consecutive MWC Championship title.
To date, the Cougars remain the only team in the MWC to ever win the either conference crown.
For the remainder of the 2003 season, all Cougar home games will have Live Stats available online at www.byucougars.com/soccer_w by simply clicking on the 2003 schedule and then selecting the appropriate "Live Stat" link with the corresponding game. Live Stats provides an opportunity for those who cannot be at South Stadium to still follow and enjoy BYU Women's Soccer.
FUTURE BYU SCHEDULES
Aug. 20, 2004 Boise State
Sept. 6, 2004 at USC
Sept. 13 Georgia Tech
Sept. 20 Stanford
Nov. 15 at Notre Dame
Sept. 4 USC
Sept. 18 at Stanford
Sept. 25 at Boise State
Oct. 30 Notre Dame
Future Non-Conference Opponents
UCLA, Arizona, Washington and Florida State
Senior Aydre Soff tore her meniscus in practice on Sept. 4, and is done for her career. Freshman goalkeeper Meredith Simmons is out for the season due to a torn MCL she suffered in practice Sept. 3 . Sophomore midfielder Brooke Bowman has a sprained MCL and will be redshirting the remainder of the season.
Practice and Interviews
Practice is held weekdays from 2:15-4:30 on Haws Field. Interviews with Coach Rockwood and/or members of the Cougar soccer team are schedules through the BYU Athletic Media Relations office. To schedule an interview, Please contact Jason Wells at (801) 422-8999 or by
e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.