Two first half goals were enough for No. 6 BYU women’s soccer to defeat the Portland Pilots, 2-1, on Saturday night at Merlo Field.
A deep free kick from midfield by Bizzy Phillips was headed by Portland (4-8-0, 0-2-0), but the attempted clearance was hit right at Elena Medeiros who chested it down and put the ball in the upper right corner of the net from 25 yards out to give BYU (10-1-1, 2-0-0) a 1-0 lead in the eighth minute. The goal is her team-leading fifth of the season.
After Portland scored off an own goal on a cross in the box, another deep free kick from Phillips found Nadia Gomes whose first shot was blocked. Gomes kept her second attempt low and at the right post for the Cougars’ second goal of the first half in the 41st minute.
"What a great performance by our girls," BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. "We kind of settled down and Elena put away a nice one. We challenged the girls to be a little more physical and to win balls earlier."
In the second half, BYU put early pressure on the Pilots equalling their first half shot total in the first six minutes of the second half. The Cougars finished the game with 16 shots, four on goal, while the Pilots managed four shots, two on goal. BYU also earned six corner kicks to Portland’s one.
Gomes led the Cougars with five shots, putting two on goal. Michele Murphy Vasconcelos took four shots with one on goal. Medeiros had the other shot on goal and took three shots. Madie Lyons was the only other Cougar with multiple shots, attempting two in her second-straight start.
BYU goalkeeper Rachel Boaz only needed to make one save on the night but darted out of the six to snuff out a late scoring chance for the Pilots in the final five minutes.
BYU returns to Provo for the WCC home opener against San Diego on Friday, Oct. 9, at 7 p.m. MDT. The game will be broadcast on BYUtv and can be heard on the Cougar IMG Sports Network, ESPN 960, BYU Radio and Sirius XM 143.