Women’s soccer with strong start to NCAA tournament

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The No. 19 BYU women’s soccer team left no doubt in their opening round game of the NCAA tournament beating in-state foe Weber State 4–0 at home in the rain.

The scoring got started in the eighth minute when a corner kick from forward Marissa Nimmer was too tough for the Weber State goalkeeper to handle. The wet ball bounced off of the keeper’s hands and into the goal. The Cougar’s second goal was a laser from forward Jaiden Thornock finding the opposite post for the goal and 2–0 lead at the half.

“My job is to get my shot off. I controlled the ball and got my shot,” Thornock said. “I was fortunate that my team opened up the field enough to give me the chance.”

BYU tacked on two more goals in the second half from forward Colette Jepson Smith and defender Ella Johnson. Johnson’s goal came on a penalty kick after forward Ashley Hatch was tackled from behind inside the box.

The Cougar defense again showed why they are one of the best in the country shutting out an impressive Weber State attack. The shutout was BYU’s seventh in the last 10 games and 10th overall. Goalkeeper Erica Owens made a huge save early when a Weber State forward had a one-on-one attempt with the keeper.

“That is what makes Erica so great,” head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. “She is ready when she is needed and she seems to always come up with a couple of big plays.”

The Cougars now advance to play the winner of University of Denver and Colorado University. That game will be held next week in Tallahassee, Fla.

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