Provo • Aside from the cold, damp weather conditions and a few empty seats at South Field, the BYU Cougars couldn't have asked for much more in their NCAA women's soccer tournament first-round match against instate rival Weber State.
Dominating from the opening kick to the final buzzer, the Cougars routed the Big Sky Conference champion Wildcats 4-0 in front of 1,897 fans to move into a second-round match next week in Tallahassee, Fla. BYU will play the winner of Saturday's Denver-Colorado game.
No. 19 BYU improved to 15-4-1 by overwhelming WSU, which fell to 10-5-5 and had its five-match unbeaten streak snapped. The Cougars outshot their visitors 19-6 and had six corner kicks to none for WSU.
"I thought overall it was a fantastic team effort," said BYU coach Jennifer Rockwood. "I think we are progressing and getting better each weekend."
Disaster struck quickly for the Wildcats. In the eighth minute, Weber State goalkeeper Ryann Waldman attempted to punch away a corner kick by Marissa Nimmer, but the wet ball squirted past her and into the net for an own goal. It was that kind of night for young Weber State, which loses just two senior starters.
"I don't think we played as poorly as the [final] score indicated," said Weber State coach Tim Crompton.
The Cougars increased their lead to 2-0 in the 31st minute when Jaiden Thornock laced a shot past Waldman into the left corner of the net. Senior Niki Fernandes, whose mother played for Weber State, had the assist. Thornock had entered the game just three minutes before her second goal of the season.
"I just got my shot off," Thornock said. "That's what my job is, as a forward."
Just seven minutes into the second half, the Cougars struck again, scoring in the 52nd minute, and the rout was on. It was Colette Jepson-Smith's fifth goal of the season; Nimmer had the assist.
After WSU's Kellyn Olsen was issued a red card for taking down a player in the box, BYU's Ella Johnson scored on a penalty kick to make it 4-0.
The Willdcats' best chance to score came in the 57th minute as the ball rested tantalizing close to the BYU net before Owens corralled it. She posted her 10th shutout of the season.
"We are really excited about this win," Rockwood said. "Weber State is a very direct team, and that's what makes them a dangerous team."
BYU 4,Weber State 0
O BYU extends its winning streak to eight with an easy NCAA first-round win over Weber State.
• The Wildcats give up an own-goal in the eighth minute and never threaten.
• Erica Olsen picks up her 10th shutout of the season, and Jaiden Thornock, Colette Jepson Smith and Ella Johnson score for BYU.
O BYU vs. winner of Denver-Colorado
Note • For a bracket of the NCAA women's soccer tournament, visit