The BYU and UVU women’s soccer teams will kick off the weekend with a date in the UCCU Crosstown Clash, both looking to improve their records and prove they’re the local team to beat.
This is just the third meeting between the two teams. The last time the teams met was on Nov. 14, 2015 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament where the Cougars took a 1–0 win. Before that, the first meeting between the two in-state opponents was on Sept. 27, 2012 where BYU also defeated UVU 1–0.
“They’ve got a couple of really solid players but other than that that we know that they’re gonna give us a great game,” said BYU soccer coach Jennifer Rockwood. “Any time we play a Utah, Utah State, UVU it’s always a close game. It’s always a heated type of passionate energy, a physical type of game.”
The Wolverines have struggled this season. Coming off a 2–0 loss to North Dakota State on Sunday, UVU enters the game looking to snap their three-game losing streak and improve their 3–7 record. The Cougars have had their own struggles, entering the clash with a 2–4–3 record on the year. However, they have won two of their last three matches, most recently beating Kansas 3–2 on Monday for their first home win of the season.
BYU has played five of their nine matches in Provo this year with a home record of 1–1–3. The Wolverines on the other hand have travelled nearly 12,000 miles, playing in six different states so far. With only two home games at Clyde Field this season, the match in Provo on Friday will be UVU’s ninth game on the road, even if it is only about five miles away. Utah Valley’s road record is just 1–6 plus one win in a neutral location.
Both teams enter the clash with similar offensive statistics. While BYU attempts 14 shots per game and UVU about 14.8, the Wolverines have scored 11 goals out of 148 attempts on the season and the Cougars have scored 10 out of 126 attempts. Although the number of goals is nearly identical, BYU scored six of their 10 season goals in the first half of games, while UVU has faired better in the second half of games, scoring six of their 11 goals then.
Utah Valley’s big advantage over BYU comes in the form of corner kicks. Compared to BYU’s 47 corner kicks on the year, the Wolverines hold a Western Athletic Conference-best 76 corner kicks this season, currently tying them for third in the nation in that category. However, BYU takes the edge on defense having given up 13 goals out of 49 shots on goal, five less than UVU’s 18 allowed goals out of 69 attempts. In preparation for the matchup, head coach Jennifer Rockwood said the Cougars are focused inward.
“Most of our preparation is we try not to make any adjustments for opponents,” Rockwood said. “We want to know kind of what they might do and who their top players are, but most of the focus on our prep is on our team. So we won’t do anything differently for UVU, we’re just trying to get better at what we think is working better for us.”
Who to watch
For BYU, senior forward Nadia Gomes has scored three goals this season, including two goals in the game against Kansas on Monday. Gomes also has two assists this season, making her an offensive threat the Wolverines will need to watch out for. Aside from Gomes, UVU will have their hands full with freshman forward Cameron Tucker and senior forwards Madie Lyons Mathews and Avery Walker who have each recorded two goals this season. On the defensive side, BYU will trust in senior goal keeper Hannah Clark who has 54 saves on the year for the Cougars.
The biggest threat to BYU is UVU’s sophomore forward/midfielder Breanna DeWaal who leads the Wolverines with three goals and three assists on the year. Her 22 shots on goal this season ties her for sixth in the nation. In addition to DeWaal, UVU has a well-rounded offense that BYU will need to be ready for. Senior forward Sydney Fitzpatrick and junior forward Breanna McCarter each have two goals and two assists, and four other players have recorded one goal for the team.
The UCCU Crosstown Clash takes place this Friday at 7 p.m. at the South Field in Provo. It will be broadcasted on BYUtv at 7 p.m. Fans can also listen live on gouvu.com, BYU Radio (Sirius XM 143) or ESPN 960 AM.