PROVO, Utah - Amidst heavy rainfall and frigid temperatures the BYU women’s soccer team (7-3-2) took down the University of Portland (5-6-1) in overtime, 2-1, Thursday on South Field in the Cougars' debut as a member of the West Coast Conference.
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“I am so proud of the team,” said BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood. “The way they prepared, the way they came out from the start, the way they didn’t get frustrated when a few of our chances didn’t go in. Then to give up a goal right after we scored, it’s tough emotionally. But they just kept battling. It was one of the most enjoyable games I’ve watched, win or lose.”
BYU's victory snapped a 28-game unbeaten streak in conference play for Portland.
Neither team was able to find the back of the net during the first half of play, despite seven shots on goal for the Cougars. Both teams, however, came out ready to play in the second half. Herman Trophy Watch List member Lindsi Lisonbee scored the first goal of the night, a header off a corner kick from junior Jessica Ringwood. It was Lisonbee’s second goal off a header and third goal on the season.
“Lindsi is tough to defend,” Coach Rockwood said. “Any time we have a corner kick, and we had a lot of them tonight, we know we have a good chance of scoring because she is so dominant in the air.”
Portland swiftly retaliated with a goal of their own just a minute and a half later. Micaela Capelle evened the score on a breakaway run.
The two teams battled for the victory in the remaining minutes of regulation. BYU took 16 shots and set a new season high with 14 corner kicks during regulation. With minutes left in the game, senior McKinzie Olsen was able to come up with a huge save, her 43rd of the season, to send the game into overtime.
In overtime, BYU took three more shots before finding their golden goal. Junior Cami Jensen crossed the ball to senior Jennie Marshall who put the ball in the back of the net to end the game and give BYU its first conference victory.
“I took the shot that I thought I had and luckily it went in,” Marshall said.
The Cougars are back in action Saturday at South Field at 1:00 pm against the No. 8 Pepperdine Waves. The game will be broadcast on BYUtv.
“The girls were playing so well, I knew we had a good chance. We just needed to believe that the next shot could go in and Jennie just did her thing.”
“This win certainly builds our confidence a bit. We’ve seen glimpses of what our team can do and tonight we put a good 90 minutes against a good team. We kept going and attacking. Our defense came out strong and Mac making a big save that I really thought might go in. Everyone on the field did a great job.”
“Obviously it’s just so exciting. Relief, that’s the feeling that I had when everyone was piling on top of me, also, I was hurting, but just relief that we finally put it away. We worked so hard. We were positive, our spirits were high and we knew we needed to put it away.”
“We were so excited for it. I though we did a good job. It gives us a lot of confidence. Portland is a very solid team. We were pretty excited to go into the game and see how we matched up. We’re excited going into the Pepperdine game.”
WCC Play Begins WIth Portland at Home, Thursday
Action as the WCC's newest member begins on South FIeld this week for the BYU women's soccer team, starting Thursday against Portland at 7 p.m. MT and Saturday against No. 8 Pepperdine at 1 p.m. MT.
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Thursday's game against Portland has been chosen by the NSCAA and FOX soccer as the nation's "Game of the Week" and will be broadcast live on FOX soccer with commentary from Dean Linke and Kyndra de St. Aubin.
The Cougars are in the middle of a four-game home swing and, after being off the game field for about a week, are ready to come back against the Pilots on Thurdsay in front of a record-setting crowd. The current attendance record on South Field is 4,742 fans which was set in 2006. The Cougars have seen more than 22,000 fans over 11 games this season and are averaging a 3,213 attendance on their home field.
A 6-3-2 record is on the line for the Cougars when they host the 5-5-1 Portland Pilots. Senior Jennie Marshall, junior Carlee Payne and freshman Jaiden Thornock currently lead the BYU offense with three goals apiece and a combined 57 shots on the year. A total of 11 different players have scored at least one goal in BYU's 11 games, combining for 20 team goals.
The Pilots are led offensively by Danielle Foxhoven with five goals and 36 shots, and is one of five Pilots to have recorded double-digit shots this season. Portland has won three of its last five games and come to Provo as the winners of four-straight conference titles in the WCC.
The Pepperdine Waves are riding an 8-0-4 record and will come to Provo with a No. 8 ranking in the nation after going unbeaten thus far this year. The Waves are outscoring their opponents 27 to eight and out-shooting them 183 to 130 in 12 games. Anisa Guajardo leads the Pepperdine offense with eight goals and 31 shots as one of seven players on the Waves roster to record double-digit shots.
Saturday's game will be broadcast live on BYUtv and online at byutv.org/live for free.