BYU women's soccer 2021

The BYU women's soccer team prepares for a game against Utah at the Real Salt Lake Academy in Herriman on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021.

The BYU women’s soccer team ended up with a pair of losses against top ten teams on its southern California road trip.

But the Cougars came very close to pulling off upsets in both contests.

After getting edged out by No. 3 UCLA 2-1 on Saturday, seventh-ranked BYU pushed No. 6 USC to overtime before falling 4-3 on Monday.

Both the Bruins and Trojans ended up converting penalty kicks to earn their slim wins.

In a virtually empty Los Angeles Coliseum against USC, the Cougars rallied from one-goal deficits three times to force the extra session. In the 97th minute, BYU had a great opportunity with a corner kick that bounced around the goal box several times before the Trojans cleared the ball. On the counterattack, USC’s Jennifer Westendorf launched a 30-yard bomb that went just past the diving attempt by Cougars goalkeeper Cassidy Smith and into the corner of the goal for the winner.

It’s disappointing that we couldn’t figure out how to pull off a win,” BYU coach Jennifer Rockwood said. “We had plenty of chances and created a lot of opportunities, we just missed our target and weren’t as good on some pieces as we needed to be, but I think there are a lot of things we can take away. We had some great performances by some people who hadn’t seen much time out on the field, and that’ll certainly help us as we move forward to conference.”

Bella Folino had two goals, Rachel McCarthy two assists and a goal and Cameron Tucker added a pair of assists as well for BYU.

USC’s Tara McKeown gave the Trojans a 1-0 lead with a goal in the 11th minute. The Cougars evened the score at 1-1 when McCarthy scored in the 57th minute but just moments later, Penelope Hocking scored for USC for a 2-1 lead. Folino scored her first goal in the 68th minute for a 2-2 tie, but the Trojans were awarded a penalty kick just moments later and McKeown took advantage for her second goal and a 3-2 lead for the home team.

BYU knotted things up at 3-all when Folino scored her second goal in the 77th minute.

On Saturday, The Cougars took a 1-0 lead at UCLA on a goal by Jamie Shepherd early in the second half, but the Marley Canales evened the score at 1-all on a penalty kick in the 59th minute. THe Bruins scored the go-head goal in the 74th minute when freshman Sunshine Fontez scored.

BYU (1-2) will open West Coast Conference play on Saturday at San Diego.

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