Cougars start NCAA tournament at home Friday

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The No. 19 BYU women’s soccer team begins its journey toward a national championship this Friday at home against Weber State. The match will kick off at 5 p.m., when the Cougars will look to continue building momentum to make a deep playoff run.

“We are super excited,” said BYU senior midfielder Cloee Colohan. “I think we are well-prepared for them.”

The Cougars women's soccer team celebrates a goal against Pacific. BYU will play Weber State in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Photo by Ari Davis
The Cougars women’s soccer team celebrates a goal against Pacific. BYU will play Weber State in the first round of the NCAA tournament. (Photo by Ari Davis)

The Cougars will look to continue their current win streak, during which they have won seven consecutive games. During that streak, BYU is outscoring their opponents by a score of 15-2. Led by West Coast Conference goalkeeper of the year Erica Owens, the Cougar defense has allowed the fewest goals in the West Coast Conference and shows no signs of slowing. The Cougar attack has been led by Colohan, with six goals and four assists, and freshman forward Ashley Hatch, who has scored six goals and recorded seven assists.

Despite being heavily favored, the Cougars will not look past Weber State.

“It is important that we don’t look beyond that,” said BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood. “If you can’t make it past the first game you’re not going anywhere, so it doesn’t matter what comes after that.”

The Weber State Wildcats are entering the tournament on a five-game unbeaten streak, having won three games and tied two. The Wildcats are coming off of a Big Sky Conference championship and boast a defense that has also been strong this season, only allowing 18 total goals. They hope their familiarity with BYU and Provo will aid them in their quest to advance.

“The kids all know each other, and there is a rivalry there,” Rockwood said. “There seems to be a little more emotion on the line because of the familiarity that everyone has.”

This will be the Cougars’ 15th appearance in the NCAA tournament and the third for the Wildcats. If BYU wins on Friday it will advance to play the winner of University of Denver vs. Colorado and likely play at Florida State.

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