The No. 4 BYU women’s soccer team relies on the two “P’s” of soccer: Pressure and possession.
The first usually turns into the second, and the combined result is usually another Cougar victory.
BYU stayed unbeaten (5-0-1 WCC, 15-0-1 overall) with a 3-1 victory against San Diego in front of 2,570 fans at South Field on Saturday.
“That’s just something we’ve worked on a lot is our possession out of the back,” BYU coach Jennifer Rockwood said. “Just like our defense starts with our forwards, our attack starts with our backs. When we can get Bing (Rachel Lyman) and Josie (Guinn) really involved in the attack, good things are happening.”
BYU outshot the Toreros a whopping 27-5, with 15 shots on goal. USD keeper Amber Michel was terrific with 11 saves but couldn’t stop everything.
“We had a lot of shots tonight, but their keeper did an amazing job,” Rockwood said. “Not only did she make some really nice saves but shde took away some good crossing opportunities. The girls put a lot of pressure on San Diego. I really liked how we were moving the ball. One of our goals it to always dictate the speed of play and keep the ball moving. I thought we did a really good job with that.”
BYU kept Michel busy early, dominating possession. But it was the Toreros that scored first. Milan Moses outraced the Cougar defense, made a brilliant individual move inside the 18 and sent the ball into the net for a 1-0 lead for the visitors in the 12th minute.
It took the Cougars all of 22 seconds to equalize.
Cameron Tucker maneuvered through the USD defense into the box and slid a short pass to Mikayla Colohan, who tapped the ball in for a 1-1 tie.
Every time we’ve gotten scored on this year, it’s just great to see the team respond really well,” BYU senior defender Alyssa Jefferson said. “I think it comes with maturity and experience. I think how we respond says a lot and that’s why we’re so successful this year.”
BYU took the lead in the 20th minute when Rachel Lyman crossed a long pass to Tucker for the score and a 2-1 halftime lead. Michel made eight saves in the first half as BYU outshot the Toreros 16-2 and had seven corner kicks.
Just over a minute into the second half, Elise Flake sent a rocket from 20 yards into the back of the net for a 3-1 Cougar advantage.
“We just got off to a good start,” Rockwood said. “They (San Diego) put away a really nice goal. We came right back and kind of nullified it nice and quick. Our team has been really good at responding like that.”
Michel finished with 12 saves for San Diego (2-4, 6-8-1).
The Cougars have three matches left in the regular season: On the road at San Francisco and Gonzaga, followed by the finale at home against Loyola Marymount.