MORAGA, Calif. — A season-high three goals in the first half propelled the BYU women's soccer team to a 4-1 road victory in its final 2011 regular season game against Saint Mary's College and secured its fourth-place standing in the West Coast Conference.
Senior goalkeeper McKinzie Olson allowed one goal in the entire 90 minutes of play for just her 16th of the season. She also tallied seven saves, most of them coming in the second half and from an opponent shooting inside the box. Olson has made 281 saves in her career at BYU as the all-time career saves leader.
BYU got things started early with a little help from forward Carlee Payne who got the Cougars on the board in the 7th minute. Teammates Colette Jepson and Lauren Anderson Cosby assisted on the goal. Four minutes later, Jessica Ringwood found the back of the net for BYU's second goal off passes from Payne and Jennie Marshall.
Niki Fernandes, who had injured her wrist earlier in the season, finished off a cross-pass combination from Jepson and Payne for BYU's third goal before the Gaels had a chance to get one of their own.
In the 36th minute, Daelyn Paul was able to sneak a ball past Olson after a scuffle in the box for Saint Mary's lone goal of the game. Paul finished with two shots on the day while teammate Jordan Marada led all players with six shots.
Six different Gaels had at least one shot compared to the 10 players from BYU who took at least one shot. Jaiden Thornock and Niki Fernandes led the Cougar squad with five shots each. BYU's total of 25 shots against the Gaels ties their previous season-high.
In the second half, Saint Mary's turned up the offensive pressure and took eight shots but Olson again came up with big saves for BYU. At the 57th and 69th minutes, Olson stopped shots from inside the box to keep the Gaels with just one goal.
Midfielder Rachel Manning finished out the game for BYU with a goal in the 86th minute off a rebound from teammate Lindsi Lisonbee's free kick. The goal was Manning's first of the season.
The Cougars finish the regular season with an 11-5-3, 5-2-1 record in their first season with the West Coast Conference.
UTAH VALLEY 4, NORTH DAKOTA 2
At Newark, N.J., Natalie Young set a pair of school records as the Utah Valley soccer team moved into the Great West Conference tournament championship game with a 4-2 win over North Dakota on Saturday. UVU will face the winner of the Houston Baptist/South Carolina State match on Monday at noon MT.
Young, who on Thursday was named the Great West Offensive Player and Newcomer of the Year, scored twice in the game and became the school's single-season record holder with 12 goals and 30 points on the year. The Wolverines (11-8-1) also matched the school record for wins in a season, set in 2008.
"She's had a big impact on our program," said head coach Brent Anderson of Young, a Springville, Utah native. "She has great speed and the team has adapted to that. Natalie's such a good offensive weapon and as just a sophomore will get even better."
The Fighting Sioux (6-9-3) grabbed an early lead when Rhaya Ballon scored on a rebound following a save by UVU goalkeeper Lauren Sack in the 14th minute.
Utah Valley would score the game's next four goals though, starting in the 24th minute by senior Jaime Lyons on an assist from Regan Clifford. Clifford's pass through the middle found Lyons, who went one-on-one with UND keeper Kristi Hestdalen and knotted the game at 1.
Just three minutes later, Young got her first goal of the contest when Camille Broderick's pass from midfield found her in another one-on-one situation and she gave UVU a 2-1 halftime lead.
"North Dakota came out with a lot of energy. Their goal seemed to calm us down and we were actually able to find some rhythm after that," Anderson said. "Our team is confident right now. With 12 goals in the last three games we know we can scored and for the most part we've played well defensively."
Early in the second half, freshman Lexi Robison's first career goal turned out to be the game-winner for Utah Valley. In the 56th minute, Robison stole the ball and scored from 30 yards out to make it 3-1.
Young then added her second goal — on Clifford's second assist of the game — with just over eight minutes left for a three-goal cushion before UND added a late goal.
North Dakota had a 20-15 edge in overall shots, but UVU was on target with 11 of its shots on goal compared to eight for the Sioux.
On Monday, Utah Valley will be going for its second GWC Tournament title and what would be the program's third conference tournament title in five seasons. The Wolverines won the United Soccer Conference tournament championship in 2007.
LOGAN — Utah State women's soccer has been making history all season and looks to continue that trend in the Western Athletic Conference Tournament finals Sunday at 2 p.m. (MT). The top-seeded Aggies will take on second-seeded and host Fresno State in the title match.
In the semifinals, Utah State needed only one goal to defeat fifth-seeded Idaho on Friday. Sophomore midfielder Kendra Pemberton provided the offense, while the USU defense did the rest.
Utah State is in the midst of a seven-match unbeaten streak with six wins and a tie during that span. The only tie came against Fresno State in Logan on Oct. 30. The Aggies and the Bulldogs battled to 0-0 tie in double overtime.
Fresno State is the only team in the WAC that Utah State doesn't have a winning record against, holding a 2-6-3 record against the Bulldogs. USU is also 0-3 in the tournament against Fresno State with all three losses being by one goal. The two teams battled in the 2008 WAC Tournament finals with the Bulldogs fighting to 2-1 double overtime win.
Fresno State is 11-4-5 after a dominating 3-0 win against sixth-seeded New Mexico State on Friday in the semifinals. Callie Hancock leads the Bulldog offense with 11 goals and three assists for 25 points. Katie DeVault has started 17 of Fresno State's 19 matches this season. She has allowed 21 goals for a 1.11 GAA. She has 102 saves this season.
Senior goalkeeper Molli Merril has also been stellar in goal this season. Merrill, a first-team all-WAC honoree, ended the match with four saves en route to her 10th shutout of the season which ties a USU record. Megan Mills recorded 10 shutouts in 2003. The shutout was the fifth-straight for the senior goalkeeper. She has not allowed a goal since the Aggies fell 2-1 at Hawai`i on Sept. 30.
Soccer fans can watch every second of the WAC Tournament through www.wacsports.com. The cost of the WAC Soccer Tournament All-Access Pass is $10.95.
Fans can follow USU soccer on Twitter at twitter.com at USU Soccer and Utah State Athletics at USUAthletics.
GREELEY, Colo. — The two original women's soccer powers in the Big Sky Conference will collide on Sunday afternoon, with the title of champion and a prized berth in the NCAA Women's College Cup awaiting the victor.
Weber State and Montana, the two winningest programs in league history, will tangle at 1 p.m. on Sunday at the University of Northern Colorado's Jackson Stadium.
The Wildcats (6-10-2) punched their ticket to the title match with a dramatic victory in spot kicks after blanking regular-season co-champion Portland State 0-0 for 110 minutes.
Weber State will be playing in its seventh Big Sky tournament championship match, where it holds a 3-3-0 record in previous appearances.
The Wildcats were postseason tournament champions in 1998, 2004 and 2005.
Montana is 3-2 in five previous title-match appearances, winning the tournament in 1997, 1999 and 2000.
This will be the fifth postseason meeting between the Wildcats and Grizzlies, and the fourth time the teams have played for the title. Weber State is 2-2-0 in the postseason against Montana, and 2-1-0 in the title match.
The winner of Sunday's match will learn its NCAA fate on Monday at 2:30 p.m. when the field of 64 teams is unveiled at NCAA.com.
ELMHURST, Ill. — The 2011 All-Summit League teams were announced Thursday with two Thunderbirds earning recognition. Junior forward Stacey Brinkman was named to second team while midfielder Kirsten Anthony earned a spot on the freshman team.
Brinkman led the T-Birds this past season with 16 points on six goals and four assists. The junior also ranked third in the league in total points and goals scored. This is Brinkman's second conference season award after the Las Vegas native was a member of the All-Newcomer Team following her freshman campaign in 2008.
Anthony was Southern Utah's top freshman starting in 15 of the Thunderbird's 18 matches. The midfielder from Silverdale, Wash. also recorded eight shots on the year.
"This year the Summit League had a lot of talented players, good teams a great competitive schedule,"? commented head coach Brian Stock. "It is great to have two players recognized in a year like this. I am proud of Stacey and Kirsten and look forward to their futures here."
The Thunderbirds closed out the season with back-to-back victories over South Dakota and UMKC, outscoring their opponents by a combined total of 10-2 in the two matches. SUU will look forward to having Brinkman and Anthony back next year as they enter the Big Sky Conference.
LAIE, Hawaii — BYU-Hawaii women's soccer player Britt Edman has been named to the Capitol One NCAA Division II Academic All-District Team for District 8.
The honor was announced on Nov. 4 by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
For the first time in the history of the Academic All-America program, Division II institutions have their own program. District 8 is comprised of schools in the Western United States.
Edman, a senior from Salt Lake City who attended Highland High, is the leading scorer for BYU-Hawaii this season with nine goals. She is a social work major with a 3.79 grade point average.
The Capitol One Academic program is operated by the CoSIDA. Nomination and voting for the awards are coordinated by the sports information directors throughout the region.