Brigham Young Cougars
Overall Rank: #11
Conference Rank: #1 West Coast
BYU Team Page
The BYU women’s soccer team had an epic inaugural season in the West Coast Conference as the Cougars went 7-0-1 enroute to the conference championship. BYU earned a number one seed in the West in the 2012 NCAA Tournament and made it all the way to the Elite 8 where they lost one of the more dramatic matches of the NCAA Tournament, falling to eventual national champion North Carolina. The team returns with a good balance of experience and youth and will be ready for an encore performance in 2013.
2012 Record: 20-2-2, 7-0-1
2012 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Jennifer Rockwood
The Cougars were a very explosive offensive attack in 2012, scoring 51 goals. They were also able to take advantage of their tremendous fan support as the Cougars averaged over 3,200 fans per contest at South Field. Michele Murphy and Jaiden Thornock will anchor BYU’s attack in 2013. The duo combined for 14 goals up front at the forward position last season. Cloee Colohan will be the key in controlling possession in the midfield and should complement Murphy and Thornock by creating quality scoring chances and finishing them. The defense was excellent last season and should be again with Ericka Owens returning in goal. Owens was 15-1-2 with a 0.53 goals against average and had 12 shutouts last season. Her experience is going to be crucial during all of the Cougars tough road contests in 2013.
The Cougars will need to replace the production of Jessica Ringwood and her nine goals from 2012. Increased goal production from Thornock, Murphy, and Colohan should help as well as developing more depth. The other key will be to continue to try and limit quality shots on goal by the opposition in 2013. The Cougars’ opponents got 44.4 percent of their shots on goal in 2012. That number needs to drop to around 38 to 40 percent this season. The defense will need to be strong early until the offensive attack gets rolling moving through the season.
The road to a West Coast Conference Championship looks very simple on paper for the Cougars. They have to get results on the road. The conference schedule sends the Cougars to Santa Clara and Portland. It will be very intriguing to see how BYU handles the raucous environment of Merlo Field in late October. The key in preparation for the conference schedule for the Cougars is to take advantage of several chances on the road in the non-conference schedule to build a strong RPI and gain confidence. The matches at LSU and Baylor, with their attacking style of play, should truly test the Cougar defense. If they can handle that and get results, then they should be well prepared for Santa Clara and Portland. There is some reloading to do for the Cougars, but look for them to secure a spot once again in the NCAA Tournament and host in the early rounds.
Projected Postseason: NCAA
Goals: Michele Murphy, Sophomore, F, 8
Assists: Michele Murphy, Sophomore, F, 7
Shots: Michele Murphy, Sophomore, F, 45
Saves: Ericka Owens, Senior, GK, 77
Madness 2013 Women’s Soccer Recruit Rankings:
#38 Brittain Dearden