(Photo by BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah – The No. 8 BYU women's soccer team heads to Penn State Friday to kick off its 2017 regular season.
BYU at Penn State Game Notes
Jennifer Rockwood's team has has changed a lot since its NCAA tournament third-round run last year. The Cougars lost top goal-scorers Ashley Hatch and Michele Vasconcelos. Seven new signees and two returned missionaries joined the squad. Returning, however, are 2015 West Coast Conference Player of the Year Nadia Gomes and All-American Taylor Isom. Hannah Clark remains in goal after a breakout 2016 season.
BYU garnered a No. 8 ranking in the preseason United Soccer Coaches poll. The Cougars were voted narrowly to finish second in the WCC behind Santa Clara. They'll go for their sixth-straight conference title and 19th NCAA tournament berth.
Brittain Steiner has played well in BYU's exhibitions, scoring a goal in the Blue and White game and against Oklahoma last weekend.
Penn State Storylines
The Nittany Lions won the Big Ten regular-season title last year. They beat Bucknell in the first round of the NCAA tournament before falling to Virginia.
This season, Penn State starts the season unranked in the United Soccer Coaches poll. However, Top Drawer Soccer ranked their recruiting class No. 4 and placed the Nittany Lions as the No. 1 team in their 2017 preseason poll. Big Ten coaches picked Penn State to win the league title.
Frannie Crouse returns as a senior, after scoring a team-leading 12 goals last season. Sophomore goalkeeper Amanda Dennis is regarded as one of the best in the nation.
Friday, Aug. 18 at 7 p.m. EDT, at Jeffrey Field
Video Stream: GoPSUSports.com
Radio: BYU Radio (Sirius XM 143) and ESPN 960 AM
Radio Talent: Greg Wrubell (play-by-play) and Paige Barker (analyst)
BYU leads 2-0. The Cougars won 3-2 last season at No. 5 Penn State, thanks to an Ashley Hatch hat trick.