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New rivalry ends in lopsided Cougar win

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BYU's Carolyn Swenson heads the ball over UVSC's Addie Hair.

BYU’s Carolyn Swenson heads the ball over UVSC’s Addie Hair.

Jason Olson, Deseret Morning News

PROVO — For a first-ever women's soccer match — and an exhibition at that — between BYU and Utah Valley State College, both sides admit the Cougar-Wolverine pairing has become an instant rivalry.

BYU defeated visiting UVSC 3-0 at South Field on Saturday night, with the Cougars outshooting the Wolverines 25-6.

"It's one of those tough rivalry games," said BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood, pleased with her squad's aggressive play. "We haven't been able to match the intensity of other teams have had (in past rivalry games)."

In the match's 10th minute, the Cougars' Nicole Anderson booted a looper from the left wing that found the back of the far corner of the net. And 16 minutes later, teammate Annie Zwahlen followed up a Claire Thomas shot off a corner kick with a rebound goal in the 26th minute to give BYU an early 2-0 lead that held for much of the game.

Two minutes before the end of the match, Brooke Bowman zigzagged her way through the Utah Valley defense for the final BYU goal.

With late-match help from Ashley Smith, BYU goalkeeper Erika Woodbury was credited with two saves in posting the shutout. UVSC keeper Mallory Schott did stop BYU shots, including a couple of goal-saving efforts.

Saturday's match was more intense than a normal exhibition, since the Cougars — with a history of regular-season success and postseason appearances — didn't want to fall to the Wolverines in just their second year of Division I play. And UVSC wanted to show it could play and stay even with the Cougars — excited to play BYU in the regular fall season, rather than in the spring offseason.

Also, the two teams were well-acquainted — combined, the two rosters featured 31 players who hail from Utah, including former prep teammates and high school foes.

Justin Wagar, the UVSC assistant who became interim head coach only a couple of weeks previous, said he thought the Wolverines played timid early but followed with an "excellent" second half.

"Possibly we respected them too much in the first half," said Wagar, adding, "I think we played solid (in the second). If we would have come out like that, it would have been a different game."

Rockwood said the Cougars accomplished many of their pre-match goals, including scoring in the first 15 minutes of both halves, logging a dozen shots each half and recording the shutout.

And both teams have enough fodder as they look to their next matches — BYU some tinkering and focusing going into Tuesday's 7 p.m. home exhibition match against Dixie State and UVSC plenty of confidence as it opens the regular season in a noon home match Friday against Weber State.

E-mail: taylor@desnews.com