BYU soccer takes on UNC in the Elite Eight round of the NCAA

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The No. 1 seed BYU women’s soccer team welcomes the No. 2 seed North Carolina Tarheels to South Field Friday night for what promises to be an intense Elite Eight matchup.

“The only thing I said when the bracket came out was, what would it be like to play North Carolina on our home field,” BYU Head Coach Jennifer Rockwood said. “The girls are looking forward to it. You can’t say enough about North Carolina and their program. We’re excited to play them on our home field and the girls will definitely be ready.”

BYU is coming off a nail-biter against the No. 4 seed Marquette. The game was scoreless through regulation and overtime until the Cougars won in a sudden death shoot out. With the win the Cougars advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight for only the second time in the school’s history.

“Pressure is pressure no matter who you play, and it’s great to get that under your belt,” sophomore forward Jaiden Thornock said. “It brought a lot of confidence.”

The next opponent for the Cougars, the Tarheels, own one of the most storied programs in NCAA women’s soccer. UNC has won a total of 20 NCAA championships, three of which have come in the last six years, and many of UNC’s players have played on national teams.

With BYU’s dominant season and UNC’s dominant tradition, this will definitely be a game for the ages, but regardless of the outcome, BYU’s senior class has fought hard through their seasons at BYU and have had a great run this season. One of the best players in school history, All-American Lindsi Lisonbee Cutshall, is just grateful for the experience.

“It’s sad to think that this could be coming to an end, but I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to play here,” she said. “It’s been an amazing experience. I’ve never played with teammates that are so amazing, with so much desire to play this game and passion, and amazing coaches that have taught me so much on and off the field. I feel like as a person I’ve developed on and off the field and that’s thanks to my teammates and my coaches.”
The Cougars and Tarheels kickoff at 6 p.m. Friday at South Field, each hoping to make it to the Final Four.
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