Utah has not lost a match in six games coming into the BYU match.
Oct. 29, 2002
The Utes (11-1-3, 4-0-1 MWC), ranked No. 24 in this week's SoccerBuzz.com and Soccer America polls, will host arch-rival BYU (12-5-0, 5-0-0 MWC). The bout with the Cougars will be played Saturday, Nov. 2, at 1:00 p.m. at Ute Field. This match will decide the Moutain West Conference champion.
SHAUNA GURR-BINGHAM IN THE RECORD BOOKS:
With a hat-trick against San Diego State, Shauna Gurr-Bingham surpassed former Ute standout Jacki Doman for the third-place ranking in goals (28). The goals also improve her current third-place standing in career points. Gurr-Bingham is ranked third (77) behind former Utes Staci Burt (97) and Amy Kofoed (108).
The senior forward is also currently tied for first-place in school history in career-assists. She is tied with Burt with 21 career-assists.
UTES IN THE POLLS:
This week, Utah jumped back into the rankings at No. 24 in the SoccerBuzz.com and Soccer America polls. The Utes also moved up one spot to No. 9 in the NSCAA Western regional poll.
NCAA STATISTICAL RANKINGS:
The Utes are currently ranked No. 16 in goals-against average (0.62). Its 11-1-3 overall record has placed Utah 14th in winning percentage (0.833).
Ute goalkeepers junior Lynnsey Asay-Kimball and senior Courtney Hills-McBeth have also received NCAA rankings. Asay-Kimball (0.49) is placed No. 6 and Hills-McBeth (0.75) is positioned at No. 25 in goals-against average.
MWC STATS AND STATISTICS:
In the recent MWC statistics, Utah notched a first-place ranking in goals-against average (0.62) and goals-allowed average (0.67). Junior Missy Dennis is second in the conference in goals-per-game, with an average of 0.53. Dennis also is placed-third in goals and points with averages of 0.53 and 1.20.
Senior goalkeeper Courtney Hills-McBeth has recorded two shutouts thus far this season. She is currently ranked second in school history (15) and she is just three shy from leader Tawni Martineau (18). On another note, Utah has not lost a match in six games coming into the BYU match.
The Cougars took care of San Diego State last week, 5-1. With the win, BYU's winning streak increased to nine games. BYU overpowered SDSU, while outshooting them 29-5.
BYU freshman midfielder Brooke Bowman has been named the MWC Player of the Week after helping the Cougars to a 2-0 record last week against UNLV (3-2) and SDSU (5-1).
Bowman, a Plano, Texas, native, scored two goals on 13 shots and added two assists on the week. She started the week leading the Cougars to a 3-2 win over UNLV by tallying two assists and scoring the game-winning goal. Against San Diego State, Bowman put the game out of reach with her goal in the 56th minute (assisted by Ojuka), helping BYU to a 5-1 victory. On the season, she is second on the team with seven goals and third in total points with 16.
QUOTING HEAD COACH RICH MANNING:
"We played our best soccer of the season last weekend against San Diego State and UNLV. The players were relaxed. We attacked very well, and we continued to defend relentlessly. I am confident that we will continue to improve as we head into our last game as well as the Mountain West Conference Tournament."
"BYU has set the standard in the Mountain West Conference. They have been to the places that we would like to go to. It will be fun to test ourselves against such a good team."
Utah remained unbeaten in the conference after defeating San Diego State (5-1) and UNLV (4-0). It was Shauna Gurr-Bingham's hat-trick that helped propel the Utes past SDSU. Megan Maxwell and Jen Williams also contributed with one goal apiece.
Against UNLV, it was a combination of the Utes' methodical offense and pressuring defence that led them to victory. Utah's defense allowed only two shots in the contest, while the Utes finished with a combined 23 shot-attempts. Goals were credited to Missy Dennis, Lauren Field, Bobbie Benegas and Katie Tate. Keeper Lynnsey Asay-Kimball earned the shutout after finishing with one save.
The Utes will enter the MWC Tournament seeded either first or second depending on the BYU final result. The conference tournament will begin Wednesday, Nov. 6 and will last until Saturday, No. 9. Seedings and times will be announced Monday morning.