It was a great run – amazing, really – but BYU’s string of five consecutive West Coast Conference regular season titles likely ended on Thursday at South Field after a 2-1 loss to No. 11 Pepperdine.
The loss dropped BYU to 2-2 in WCC play, and winning the conference championship with two losses would take several lucky breaks, something that has been in short supply most of the 2017 season.
The Cougars (5-6-3 overall) turned in a terrific effort against Pepperdine, taking a 1-0 lead in the 14th minute on a goal from Madie Mathews. But Waves freshman Joelle Anderson responded with two stunning, perfectly placed shots in a four-minute span for a 2-1 lead Pepperdine would never relinquish.
“We’ve just been a little bit unlucky,” BYU coach Jennifer Rockwood said. “Pepperdine scored on two unbelievable long-range goals. I thought we did what we needed to do. The girls played hard. I’m just really proud of this team, probably as proud as any team I’ve ever coached. The ball hasn’t bounced our way, even though we’ve played some great soccer.”
Mathews put the Cougars on top early, scoring the first goal that Pepperdine had allowed in five WCC matches.