Exactly 25 years ago, the BYU women’s soccer program moved from club to NCAA Division I, and Jennifer Rockwood took her team to Colorado College to open the 1995 season.
That game was a 3-1 loss, but there would be many victories to follow.
That included Saturday’s exhibition against the Tigers at South Field, where the Cougars dominated time of possession and erupted for four second half goals in a 4-0 win.
“I didn’t even realize that until Carolyn Billings (BYU director of sports medicine) said something today,” said Rockwood, who has posted 375 victories and a .717 win percentage in her career. “I actually had to look it up and then I remembered. I don’t know where all the time has gone, but it’s been a great ride, and it’s only going to get better.”
The Cougars got better in the second half on Saturday after controlling the first without getting a goal. BYU outshot Colorado College 15-1 and had five corner kicks, but couldn’t break into the scoring column.
That changed quickly in the second half. In the 46th minute, the Tigers had a good chance that the BYU defense cleared away and quickly countered. Mikayla Colohan faced up and sent a pass to Elise Flake, who spun and drilled a 20-yard shot into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.
“I think we came out just a little nervous,” Rockwood said. “There are a lot of expectations and the girls put lot of pressure on themselves. I thought we played well and had opportunities but we didn’t put it in. We knew it was going to come.
“I told them to find McKayla in the middle facing forward. That’s when we’re the most dangerous, so the first thing we did, Kayla got the ball, found Elise and she put it away. We’re dangerous that way.”
The goals came regularly after that initial score. In the 59th minute, Flake took a pass from freshman SaraJayne Affleck, cut back past two defenders and slotted a shot to the right corner for a 2-0 lead. Defender Alyssa Jefferson joined the scoring party in the 71st minute, rocketing the ball 40 yards off a free kick into the back of the net for a 3-0 advantage. In the 80th minute, a long pass from freshman Ellie Maughan to the head of Makaylie Moore resulted in the fourth goal of the half.
“We haven’t had a chance to work a lot on our attack,” Rockwood said. “We’ve been mostly working on our defense and our press. They (Colorado College) kicked the ball out a lot so we didn’t have a chance to do too much of our press. So we still haven’t turned the corner and worked a lot on our attack, but I thought we had a lot of offense tonight.”
Sabrina Davis and Cassidy Smith shared the clean sheet in goal for BYU, which finished with 27 shots and 13 corner kicks, compared to four shots and one corner for Colorado College.
The Cougars open the 2019 season on the road at Alabama on Thursday and continues the road trip to Mississippi State on Saturday. BYU begins its home schedule on Aug. 30 against Southern Utah.