The BYU women’s soccer team has outscored its opponents 21-2 in the second half of matches this season.
On Wednesday the Cougars flipped the script and jumped all over Pepperdine from the opening minutes.
No. 6 BYU scored three times in the first 22 minutes of the match at South Field, eventually finishing with a dominating 5-1 victory in front of 2,099 fans who braved the first truly cold night of fall.
“The girls just came out flying,” BYU coach Jennifer Rockwood said. “That’s how we wanted to start. We got off nice and early in the attack, had some good looks and put a few away. We played really well at Santa Clara (on Saturday) but we were missing that final entry pass and final run. The last two days of practice we’ve been focusing on that. The girls really incorporated that into the game and we were way more dangerous in the attacking third.”
BYU struck first in the fifth minute. Cameron Tucker’s cross in the box made its way to freshman SaraJayne Affleck, who cleaned up with the first goal of her career.
“It was a great ball from Cam,” Affleck said. “If I hadn’t finished it that would have been bad. Every game our coach says, ‘We’re a great second half team. Let’s be a great first half team this game.’ I don’t know … the light turned on and we were able to be a great first half team today.”
In the 12th minute, Elise Flake pushed the ball between two defenders and knocked her shot off the post — but it came right back to her and she scored for a 2-0 Cougar lead.
Goal No. 3 came in the 22nd minute. Makayla Colohan slotted a beautiful pass down the middle to Flake, who escaped her defender and beat the Pepperdine goalie for her second goal of the game and a 3-0 lead for BYU.
In just 22 minutes, BYU matched the most goals allowed by Pepperdine in a single game all season — a 3-2 loss to Illinois on Aug. 30.
A Cougar mistake led to Pepperdine’s first-half marker. Goalkeeper Sabrina Davis came out to handle a Waves shot but couldn’t control the ball, and Shelby Little put it into the back of the net to cut the BYU lead to 3-1 in the 42nd minute.
The Cougars didn’t take long to add to their lead in the second half. Lizzy Brady used a slick cutback move to free herself just inside the 18 and blasted a left-footed shot into the net for a 4-1 BYU advantage in the 49th minute.
“Pepperdine is always a dangerous team and they had some dangerous services late in the first half,” Rockwood said. “We challenged the girls to come out the same way in the second half and they did that. We got four quick shots off and got a goal.”
Five minutes later, Rachel Lyman made a nice run with the ball and slotted a pass to Tucker, who left it for Colohan for an easy tap in and a 5-1 Cougar lead.
Wednesday was also a victory that ended a three-match winning streak in the series for the Waves.
“I actually hadn’t realized that until the seniors said they hadn’t beaten Pepperdine yet,” Rockwood said. “They knew and I forgot. We mentioned that right before game time and it was great for us to get a big W. Most importantly is the three points. We were focused on picking up those three points and taking care of business.”
Colohan finished with two assists and a goal for the Cougars.
BYU remains unbeaten (11-0-1 overall, 1-0-1 WCC) and returns to South Field at 7 p.m. Saturday to host Pacific.