The #13 BYU Women’s Soccer Team Cougars (15-2-2, 7-1-1) faced the UVU Wolverines (14-6-1, 7-2-1) in the first round of the NCAA tournament. It is the third time in four years BYU has hosted at least one NCAA tournament game. It is the first game in the NCAA tournament in UVU’s history. BYU has only faced Utah Valley once in the regular season winning 1-0 in 2012 at South Field.
The Cougars‘ first scoring chance of the game came off a corner kick by Maddie Lyons in the 5th minute. The kick was fielded by Bizzy Philips who took a close range shot that was saved by UVU goalkeeper Jessica Duffin. BYU’s Paige Hunt was given a yellow card in the 27th minute after a tie-up in front of goalkeeper Rachel Boaz, resulting in a Wolverine free kick. The free kick was taken by UVU’s Kasandra Anderson but was blocked by the Cougar wall and cleared out of the defensive zone preserving the BYU shutout.
The winning goal for BYU came when Jocelyn Loomis found WCC Player of the Year Nadia Gomes just outside of the UVU box. Gomes dribbled around a defender before passing to Elena Medeiros who put it past the Wolverine goalkeeper into the bottom left corner of the net from the top of the box in the 21st minute.
The goal was Medeiros’ eighth of the season and 14th of her career, while Gomes recorded her fourth assist of the year, helping the Cougars to remain undefeated at home this season.
In the second half, the Cougars kept up the offensive pressure. In the 53rd minute, Madie Lyons broke free from the defense and fired a shot beyond the 40 yard mark that sailed right. Hatch had her first shot on goal in the 75th minute when the ball bounced off the head of the last UVU defender. Hatch controlled the ball off the bounce before firing a shot that was saved by Duffin who finished with five saves in the match. UVU made a late attempt to try and tie the game when Breanna McCarter‘s shot found its way through the Cougar defense but sailed right of the net in the 76th minute. In the 81st minute, McCarter again broke through the BYU line and fired another shot from the right side that was stopped by Cougar goalkeeper Rachel Boaz. Boaz finished with three saves on the night to give BYU its 14th shutout of the year and keeping the Cougars as the nation‘s leader in goals against average.
BYU finished the game outshooting UVU 18-7. The game had 22 total fouls with UVU committing 16 and BYU committing 6. UVU’s Lexi Felis and Kali Stubbs both received yellow cards in the second half.
The Cougars will travel to face top-seeded Stanford in the second round of NCAA play this Thursday.