Cougar offense erupts in 5-2 win over Tennessee
“We wanted to come out with a lot more energy, a lot more excitement and be lot better with our possession,” BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. “I think the girls did that. I am really pleased with how the game started. Obviously scoring a goal in the first two minutes sets the tone, and then I thought our midfield did a great job creating a rhythm by keeping and moving the ball around. You can’t ask for much more. ”
For the Cougars, it was the first time since 2012 that they scored five goals in a game.
It took less than two minutes for the Cougars (3-1) to get on the board, as Medeiros intercepted a pass from a Volunteer defender and then promptly fed Hatch inside the box. She drilled a shot to the bottom left corner that sailed past the outstretched arms of Tennessee goalkeeper Jamie Simmons.
BYU’s sixth goal of 2016 was the Cougars’ fastest goal of the season and put them up 1-0 over the Volunteers (2-3).
The Cougars struck again in the 23rd minute, when Hatch punched a pass to junior forward and MAC Hermann Trophy nominee Nadia Gomes who fed Vasconcelos in the box. She took a quick one-touch far-post shot and extended BYU's lead to 2-0.
Tennessee senior forward and MAC Hermann Trophy candidate Hannah Wilkinson got the Volunteers on the board in the 32nd minute after breaking through the BYU defense to receive a pass and chip a shot over junior goalkeeper Hannah Clark’s head at the top of the box, cutting the Cougar lead in half.
Only seconds later, senior forward Madie Lyons, who replaced Hatch in the 31st minute, ran the ball up the sideline before crossing it into the box to Medeiros. The midfielder took a quick touch and a shot that found the bottom left of the goal to give BYU a 3-1 lead that it carried into halftime.
A back-and-forth battle ensued in the second half, with both teams netting goals one after another.
In the 67th minute, Medeiros was taken down in the box to draw a penalty kick. Hatch stepped up to take a right-footed shot that was initially blocked by Simmons, but BYU's leading goal-scorer was able to volley the rebound and find the back of the net for a goal to extend the Cougar lead to three. It was Hatch's seventh goal on the year and 35th of her career.
In the 80th minute, Tennessee's Wilkinson took a left-footed shot just outside the 18-yard box to the far post. Clark got a hand on the ball, but the shot was enough to cut the Cougar edge to just two, 4-2.
Vasconcelos netted a second goal and finished the Volunteers off in the 86th minute with an unassisted right-footed shot from just inside the box that curved around a Simmons' dive to the top-right corner. Vasconcelos’ goal came just seconds after her subbing in for Jocelyn Loomis, and the Cougar lead was extended to 5-2, the game's eventual outcome.
Clark logged her first career start for the Cougars, and Kayci Griffin, Miranda Bailey Topham and Brianna Hatch saw their first minutes of the season after entering the game in the final minutes. BYU’s five goals doubled their goal total for the season to 10.
The Cougars travel to Salt Lake City on Monday, Sept. 5, to take on rival Utah in the Deseret First Duel at 3:30 p.m. MDT. Audio of that game can be heard live on the Cougar IMG Sports Network, BYU Radio (Sirius XM143) and ESPN 960 AM. The Utes and Cougars game can also be seen live on the Pac-12 Network.
BYU women’s soccer head coach Jennifer Rockwood has announced the promotion of Brent Anderson to associate head coach.