Provo • BYU’s football team isn’t the only squad on campus enduring a troubling scoring drought heading into a showdown with its rival.
Having scored two goals through five games, the Cougars’ perennially powerful women’s soccer team plays host to No. 21 Utah (4-1) on Friday night at South Field (7 p.m., BYUtv) looking for its first win after starting the 2017 season ranked in the top 10.
Unlike in football, BYU has dominated Utah in women’s soccer and leads the series 21-7-1. The Cougars have won two straight and eight of the past 10 against Utah, and one of those Utah wins (2014) came on a penalty kick.
However, Utah is on the upswing.
The Utes have not won in Provo since 2007, but have to be considered the favorite on Friday. Although Utah hasn’t faced the quality of competition that BYU has, it is averaging 3.4 goals per game and has only allowed three goals all season.
BYU coach Jennifer Rockwood said her Cougars need something to jumpstart their season, and a rivalry win might fit that bill.
“We are in a unique position that we haven’t been in in a while,” Rockwood said. “And we came into the season really prepared, and had high expectations, and it just hasn’t gone our way.”
The Cougars (0-3-2) were blown out by Colorado 3-0 on Monday in Boulder, but Rockwood said the match was closer than it appeared. Both teams got off 10 shots, but Colorado scored on all three of its shots on frame.
The Cougars graduated 60 percent of their scoring from last year, and it shows.
“We haven’t been able to create as many dangerous scoring opportunities as we are used to, the last three or four years,” Rockwood said. “We are going to show a little bit different strategy, a different attack [against Utah]. … Hopefully that will give us more opportunities to try something different than we have been doing.”
No. 21 Utah at BYU
Friday, 7 p.m.
At South Field, Provo
Records • Utah 4-1; BYU 03-2
TV • BYUtv
Radio • 960 AM and Sirius XM 143
Freshman forward Cameron Tucker and senior forward Avery Walker have scored BYU’s only goals this season.
“Every time you are not where you want to be it pushes you to try and get better, try to utilize the talent you have,” Rockwood said. “It is a different group than we’ve had in the past, and we have to try and find our attack through the talents and the gifts that we have right now.”
Utah’s only loss was a 1-0 setback at Loyola Marymount. The Utes inflated their scoring average, which ranks No. 6 in the country, with a 9-0 win over North Dakota State, and Hailey Skolmoski ranks third in the country in goals scored (six) and fifth in points (13).
Rockwood said the Cougars have managed to remain positive, despite the winless streak.
“I am really proud of how the girls are battling right now, just their attitude right now,” she said. “We have a great group of seniors who have won a lot of games during their careers here. They are great friends on and off the field. I think that [a successful season] is still in front of us, still within our grasp.”