Cougars are Sweet 16 bound after big win


The No. 1 seed BYU women’s soccer team beat the Auburn Tigers in miraculous fashion Thursday as the Cougars scored late to win 1-0.

“Obviously at this time of year every game gets bigger and bigger,” BYU Head Coach Jennifer Rockwood said in a press release. “I’m proud of these girls; it was a tough battle tonight against a very strong defensive Auburn team. We know tonight is a very big win and we’re excited to move on to the next game.”

The win pushes the Cougars into the Sweet 16 and a game against the No. 4 seed Marquette. Just before the Cougars and Tigers faced off, Marquette played Princeton, starting slow but finishing strong. The Golden Eagles won the game 3-1, advancing to take on BYU.

Sophomore forward Jaiden Thornock moves the ball past her Auburn defender. The Cougars 1-0 victory over the Tigers advances them to the third round of the NCAA tournament.

Marquette will have their hands full as the Cougars have not lost at South Field all year and look to capitalize on their home field advantage and extend their miraculous run.

Against Auburn, BYU had a number of good looks at the goal in the first half, but the Tigers played tough and going into the half it was anyone’s game.

But the second half was a different story. The Cougars came out hot and kept the ball on Auburn’s end of the field for most of the half. The Cougars had some great opportunities as the clock was winding down, but then things started to get physical. Lindsi Lisonbee Cutshall had a free lane to the goal when she was tackled by an Auburn player with no foul called.

The players were getting testy when the Cougars had the ball in Auburn’s box and another hard tackle came in, this time a foul was called and a penalty kick was awarded. Senior forward Carlee Payne Holmoe stepped up to the ball and re-positioned it to her specifications.

“Of course I had nerves, but I was confident that I could put the ball where I wanted it,” Holmoe said. “It was one of those moments in my career that I will never forget.”
She stepped back and got her running start to the ball. As she kicked it the goalie guessed right, but the ball sneaked passed her and for the third time this season Holmoe put her penalty kick away. The crowd went wild as they rushed the field to celebrate the Cougars’ miraculous win and advancement to the Sweet 16.

“With this team, one thing that is different from teams in the past, is that this team believes,” Rockwood said. “They have found every way possible to score this year and each time someone else has stepped up. We have found ways to win games and that’s what special teams do. We want people to chase us. These girls do a great job of continually moving the ball and I think everyone has such great confidence that those goals could come from anyone at any time.”

BYU and Marquette play in the third round of the NCAA Saturday at 5 p.m. at South Field.

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