- BYU Cougars soccer
Football club infobox
clubname = BYU Cougars
fullname = Brigham Young University Cougars
nickname = The Cougars
founded = 2003
capacity = 3,000
chairman = flagicon|USA
manager = flagicon|USA
USL Premier Development League
season = 2008
position = 4th, Northwest Division
BYU Cougars are an American
soccerteam. The team is a member of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League(PDL), the fourth tier of the American Soccer Pyramid, and plays in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference against teams from Abbotsford, Ogden, Salem, Spokane, Tacoma, Vancouver and Yakima.
The team is, essentially, the
college soccerteam of Brigham Young University, and are one of the few openly religious teams in the PDL, their host university being the flagship educational establishment of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The Cougars play their home matches at
South Stadiumon the campus of Brigham Young Universityin the city of Provo, Utah. The team's colors are dark blue and white.
"This article is about the PDL Soccer team representing the university, for other uses see Brigham Young University."
* USL PDL Northwest Division Champions 2007
Brigham Young Universitypurchased a franchise in the PDL in 2003. The move, at the time unprecedented at the college level, followed a long and successful record in competition among college teams, with the team having won seven National Championships in collegiate club soccer in the decade prior to their entry into the PDL. Their first season in the PDL saw BYU in the Southwest division, competing against traditionally strong southern Californiasides such as Orange County Blue Starand Southern California Seahorses. Despite a 3-0 victory over Nevada Wondersin their first game, BYU's first season was a difficult one, and saw them pick up just one more victory all year, 2-1 over intra-divisional rivals Boulder Rapids Reservein early July which featured goals by Matthew Affleckand Christopher Lamb. The Cougars ended their freshman year in a distant 4th place, 35 points behind eventual champions Fresno Fuego.
2004 was an improvement for the college men, but the strength of their opposition remained an unmovable obstacle. Despite picking up 8 wins in a competitive season, the Cougars still finished their year in 4th place behind Orange County, Southern California and Fresno; the highlights were a quartet of impressive wins - 6-2 over
Colorado Springs Blizzard, 5-0 over California Gold, 4-0 over Nevada Wondersand 4-3 over Fresno Fuego- all of which were enlivened by goals from Matthew Affleck, Christopher Lamband Bryant Pugmire.
2005 was much of the same, as BYU remained the Southwest 'best of the rest' behind Blue Star, the Seahorses and Fuego. 8 wins in 16 games was a decent return, enough to leave them in fourth place for the second season in a row, and the Cougars' home form was certainly impressive, including a 6-2 thrashing of
Colorado Springs Blizzardand a final day 4-0 victory over San Diego Gauchos. Yet again Christopher Lambwas BYU's top marksman with 7 goals and 5 assists on the season, while midfielders Brock Trejoand Brazil-born Gilbert Gaertnerwere also influential with 5 assists each.
BYU realigned to the Northwest division in 2006 and, with the 'big three' finally out of the way, the Cougars finally began to see success. Five wins in their first six games took them to the
US Open Cupfor the first time in their history, and although they were comprehensively beaten 5-1 by Arizona Sahuarosin the first round, it was indicative of BYU's newfound status as a regional power. The rest of the season progressed accordingly, highlighted by a dominant 4-0 win over Cascade Surgein June, and despite a late-season stutter which saw them lose their final three regular season games, they finished a strong second in the league, 2 points behind champions Abbotsford Rangers, and were headed for the playoffs for the first time. BYU won their conference semi-final against Southern California Seahorses2-1, with goals from David Clark and Jacob Cavanaugh, and only lost the conference final to Orange County Blue Staron penalties, after scoring two goals in the final 4 minutes to tie 2-2 in regulation time. It was a much more impressive season for the Cougars, anchored by 7 goals from striker Brock Trejoand three assists from Jacob Cavanaugh.
2007 was the most dominant season yet for the Cougars. Four wins in their first five games took them to the
US Open Cupfor the second year in a row, although they again lost their opening game, going down 2-1 to strong opposition in the form of USL-1franchise California Victory. BYU's loss to Tacoma Tidein the second game of the year turned out to be their only loss of the season; they were unbeaten at home the entire year, and enjoyed a number of comprehensive victories over their opponents, putting 6 past Tacoma Tidein June, and hitting Ogden Outlawsfor six in early July. The Cougars qualified for the post-season playoff with ease, wrapping up their first divisional title by mid-July, and finishing nine points clear of second place Tacoma Tide. BYU overcame the San Fernando Valley Quakesin their playoff-semi final in front of almost 3,000 fans in Fresno, but were bested in the Conference final by the impressive Fresno Fuego. Zachary De Francis, Steven Fellowsand Tyson Miller scored 16 of BYU's 37 goals between them.
South Stadium, Provo, Utah2003-date
*2008: not yet available
* [http://www.byusoccer.com BYU Cougars Soccer]
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