PROVO — In a hard-fought battle, the BYU women's soccer team (7-4-2) fell to an undefeated and nationally ranked Pepperdine (10-0-4), 1-0, Saturday on South Field.
"I was really pleased with the way we played," head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. "We weren't as crisp as we could be or maybe we needed to be, but overall I thought we played really well."
The only goal of the game came in the first two minutes of play, with Pepperdine's Lynn Williams scoring on a through ball from Michelle Manning.
Pepperdine had another opportunity at goal when a ball was played behind the Cougar defense to Anisa Guajardo, but keeper McKinizie Olson was able to obstruct the player and came away with an amazing block off her foot. Olson finished the game with four impressive saves.
The Cougars were unable to execute in the final third of the first half, having only two shots on goal, the first of which came from a hard left foot strike by Jaiden Thornock with seven minutes left in the half, but Pepperdine 'keeper Roxanne Barker was able to deflect.
Both teams picked up momentum in the second half, and BYU was able to create more opportunities in the box, with eight shots on goal compared to two in the first half. However, the Cougars were still unable to get anything past the Pepperdine defense and goalie.
"There is a reason why Pepperdine is undefeated and ranked eighth in the country," Rockwood said. "They're a very good team, but I really felt, especially in the second half, we came out and put a lot of pressure on them."
A team that has only given up seven goals so far this season, along with their undefeated record, Pepperdine has also now recorded seven shutouts.
The BYU defense held strong, allowing only seven shots on goal for a team that averages 15 a game. This was only the third time this season that Pepperdine was held to single-digit shots. Colette Jepson led the Cougars with four shots on goal.
"We definitely created opportunities but unfortunately we weren't able to get that tying goal," Rockwood said. "Overall I was pleased with the way we battled."
The Cougars now hit the road for a two-game stint in California, playing No. 17 Santa Clara on Oct. 13 at 8 p.m. and Gonzaga on Oct. 15 at 2 p.m.
WESTMINSTER 3, MARYMOUNT 0: At Salt Lake City, the 22nd-ranked Westminster College women's soccer team scored three goals in the second half to defeat Marymount (Calif.) College 3-0 on Saturday afternoon at Dumke Field. The game was the final regular-season home game for 11 Westminster seniors.
The win improves the Griffins to 8-4-1 overall this season and is the first win in school history as a ranked team. Marymount falls to 4-6-2.
The teams played to a 0-0 tie at halftime with Westminster holding an 8-3 advantage in shots attempted at the break. The Griffins would get on the board in the 57th minute when Justine Jones fired a shot from 12 yards that beat the 'keeper for her third goal of the season. Senior Sarah Swenson recorded third assists of the year on the play that gave Jones her first career game-winner.
Heather Hillam would strike in the 62nd minute for her fifth goal of the season. She fired a shot from 10 yards out that was inside the far post for her school record-tying 19th career goal. Swenson would add her second assist of the game on the play and now has a school record 12 in her career.
Swenson would complete the scoring for the Griffins in the 82nd minute to push the lead to 3-0. This was the third game this season that Swenson has totaled four points in a game. Corie Walach recorded her fourth assist of the year on the play.
Westminster finished the afternoon with a 23-5 advantage in shots attempted while putting 13 of those attempts on target. The Griffins also took seven corner kicks and were whistled for 11 fouls.
Margo Hickman led the team with five shots with one on goal. Swenson had three shots that were all on goal and Hillam added three more shots with two on frame. Michelle Erickson also managed to put both of her shots on the keeper. Dayna Winter-Nolte notched her 10th career shutout while picking up the win behind two saves.