BYU women's soccer players celebrate a goal during a game against UVU on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. 

There is just one more piece of business before the BYU women’s soccer team moves on to the post-season.

The Cougars are the hottest program in the West Coast Conference, having won eight of their past nine matches to claim not only the league’s NCAA auto bid but at least a share of the regular-season title, regardless of this weekend’s outcome.

BYU travels to Loyola Marymount (1-6-1 WCC, 3-12-4) to conclude the regular season, but don’t let the Broncos’ record fool you. It has been a tough year for Loyola Marymount, which has just one conference win (over last-place Pacific) and has lost six matches in a row. But the Lions lost all six of those matches by one goal, including pushing Santa Clara before falling 3-2.

BYU (7-1-0, 12-4-1) knocked off then-No. 6 Santa Clara 2-0 last week and moved into the national polls for the first time since early in the 2017 season. The Cougars claimed the No. 25 spot in the Top Drawer Soccer rankings this week and are just outside the Top 25 in the United Soccer Coaches poll, receiving 31 votes to finish No. 27.

Santa Clara, by the way, moved up one spot to No. 5 in the poll after losing to BYU, so go figure.

The Cougars also gained a boost in its RPI, moving from No. 73 to No. 44 after the win against the Broncos. It remains to be seen, however, if that’s enough to earn BYU a first-round home match for the post-season. The NCAA Selection Show is Monday and the first round of the tournament will be held beginning Nov. 9, 10 and 11.

The Cougars have made a strong push for post-season WCC awards as well. Junior Elise Flake is tied for second in points (29) and third in goals scored (12). Keeper Sabrina Davis is third in the league in goals against average (0.98 per match) and fourth in save percentage (.770). Defenders Alyssa Jefferson and Rachel Lyman, as well as midfielders Olivia Wade and Mikayla Colohan, should also be up for honors. Freshmen Wade and Bella Folino will challenge for newcomer awards.

BYU is No. 1 in the WCC in shots (22.24 per match), goals (2.71 per match), assists (2.24) and attendance with an average of 2,084 fans per home match. The Cougars are the No. 2 scoring team in the country.

Follow Darnell Dickson on Twitter @darnellwrites or e-mail him at ddickson@heraldextra.com.

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