Elise Flake scores vs. Utah BYU wsoc

BYU senior forward Elise Flake celebrates after scoring a goal against Utah on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019.

Portland did BYU a favor.

The Pilots earned a 1-1 tie with Santa Clara on Saturday, which gives the Cougars a leg up in the race for the West Coast Conference title.

Here’s how: BYU and Santa Clara tied 2-2 to open WCC play. After the tie with Portland, the Broncos are 2-0-2 in league play. The Cougars are 3-0-1, so if both teams win out, BYU would win the WCC championship.

As luck would have it, the Cougars travel to face the Pilots on Wednesday. BYU is 9-4 all-time against Portland and won 3-0 last year in Provo. The Cougars have won eight in a row in the series but is 4-4 in games at Portland.

Since the tie with Santa Clara, BYU has been the most dominant team in the conference. The Cougars have outscored their past three opponents (Pepperdine, Pacific and Saint Mary’s) by a combined score of 19-1, including an 8-0 victory against the Gaels on Saturday. BYU is second in the nation in scoring (3.57 goals per game) behind Stanford at 3.57.

After opening conference play with losses to Pepperdine (2-1) and Gonzaga (1-0), Portland has tied both Saint Mary’s (1-1) and Santa Clara.

After traveling to Portland, the Cougars return home for a Saturday meeting against San Diego.

At 13-0-1, BYU is off to its best start to the season 2007, when it started 11-0-2.

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

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