As the only senior on this year’s BYU women’s soccer team, Madie Siddoway Gates is expected to set a good example.
That example started right away for Gates, who scored twice and assisted on another goal in Saturday’s Blue and White exhibition match at South Field, leading the Blue team to a 3-0 victory.
“I would say we’ve had a lot of girls who have stepped up and we all lead together,” Gates said. “That’s been awesome about this year. I don’t feel like as a senior I have to carry the team. Everybody has stepped up and picked up that role.”
Gates assisted on the Blue team’s first goal in the 26th minute, then scored in the 34th minute for a 2-0 Blue lead. There was a 30-minute lightning delay at the beginning of the second half but Gates tallied the final goal in the 58th minute, converting a steal into a teardrop shot from 30 yards just over the outstretched hands of the keeper.
Gates, who has played midfield most of her career, moved to forward this spring and was active all night pushing the ball into the scoring zone for the Blue team.
“The first goal was a great cross from Mikayla Colohan,” Gates said. “She got it to the end line and played a great ball. I just had to put it away. The second goal really came from good defensive positioning by Ella Ballstaedt. I was able to steal the ball and I got my shot off early before the keeper could get set for a save.”
BYU coach Jennifer Rockwood said she was pleased with her team’s effort so early in the preseason.
“The girls have been training really hard,” she said. “Sometimes you get to the Blue and White game after three days of double days and you hope they have something left. We’re integrating some new players but our freshmen and new players have done well.”
The Cougars have been a perennial NCAA team under Rockwood but last season missed the tournament, posting 7-8-4 record overall and 4-4-1 in West Coast Conference play.
“The girls understand,” she said. “Last year was challenging because everybody expects so much. The girls didn’t want to let anyone down. But we had a great spring season and the girls worked hard over the summer. I think they are ready to get back to being a conference champion and that’s our main goal.”
Junior Sabrina Macias Davis was solid in goal for the Blue squad, keeping the White team off the scoreboard despite an 8-1 advantage in corner kicks. Davis is in a battle with sophomore Cassidy Smith for the starting keeper role.
“We’ve been rotating Sabrina and Cassidy throughout the spring and we’ll continue to do that,” Rockwood said. “We don’t have a definite starter yet so we’ll split time and see who picks up their game.”
BYU will play an exhibition match at UCLA on Friday and its annual alumni match on Aug. 14. The Cougars open the 2018 season with a challenging 3-match road swing through Cal State Fullerton (Aug. 17), Nebraska (Aug. 20) and Texas A&M (Aug. 24) before returning home against defending national champion Stanford on Aug. 30.