#23 BYU Women's Soccer 2014 Preview

BYU Cougars

Overall Rank: #23
#3 West Coast
#23 BYU Women's Soccer 2014 Preview
BYU Team Page


BYU made its eighth trip to the NCAA Tournament in nine seasons last year, one that ended with a 2-1 loss to Colorado in the NCAA Tournament's Second Round. The Cougars do bring back do-everything Ashley Hatch, who was named College Sports Madness' WCC Freshman of the Year in 2013.

2013 Record: 15-5-1, 8-1-0
2013 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Jennifer Rockwood

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Ashley Hatch, Sophomore, F, 6
Assists: Ashley Hatch, Sophomore, F, 7; Niki Fernandes, Senior, F, 7
Shots: Ashley Hatch, Sophomore, F, 65
Saves: None

Other Key Returnees: F Jaiden Thornock, F/M Sarah Chambers, M Marissa Nimmer, M Elena Medeiros, D/M Miranda Bailey, D Ella Johnson

Key Losses: F/M Colette Jepson Smith, M Rachel Manning, M Cloee Colohan, M Kyleigh Royall, D Paige Hunt, GK Erica Owens

Hatch, just a sophomore, returns after scoring six goals and assisting on seven others. She isn't the only returnee that made key contributions however. Three others, Niki Fernandes, Marissa Nimmer and Ella Johnson, return after each scoring at least three goals. Eighteen of the team's 26 players are either freshmen and sophomores, including Michele Murphy, who comes back after a medical redshirt. The sophomore was named the WCC Freshman of the Year pretty much everywhere after scoring eight goals and assisting on seven others in her rookie campaign in 2012.

Goalkeeping. Erica Owens played every minute in net last season and the three goalies on the roster have combined to play in three games and make three total saves. Freshman Hannah Clark, Junior Hilary Kafusi and Katherine Snyder will battle it out for the right to be Owens' replacement. While the Cougars do bring back offensive firepower, they also lose some as well. Cloee Colohan tied Hatch with six goals last season and Colette Jepson Smith added five scores.

Final Projection:
The Cougars have a ton of talent returning and are very, very young. The experience gained by last year's freshmen, bolstered by the return of Murphy, should help the team keep scoring. BYU also welcomes freshman Elisabeth Phillips, who was an NSCAA ALL-American in 2012 and 2013, the 2013 Utah Gatorade Soccer Player of the Year and holder of her high school's career assist record with 60. In addition to the always tough WCC slate, BYU has a number of tough non-conference matches as well. Washington State, Tennessee, Baylor, Utah, Long Beach State, Colorado College and Denver are all either in the College Sports Madness Top 45 or just outside of it. Luckily for the Cougars, they get five of those at home, as well as matches with conference powers Portland and Santa Clara.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Tournament

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 1.86 (60th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Goals-Against Average: 0.707 (24, 1)
Shutout Percentage: 0.476 (42, 1)
Save Percentage:  0.810 (82, 1)


See All College Sports Madness Top 44 Women's Soccer Previews