A strong finish to a long season has earned BYU women’s soccer a spot in the NCAA tournament. The Cougars will be traveling to take on the Colorado Buffaloes in a do-or-die matchup this Saturday in the first round of the tournament. But, there are five things to know before the match starts.
1. BYU will need to focus on one game at a time if it wants to get revenge for past losses
In 2013, the Cougars lost in the second round of the NCAA tournament to the same team they are set to play on Saturday. BYU lost to Colorado 2-1, despite getting 17 shots off during the match. A year earlier, UNC came to Provo and knocked off BYU, the No.1 seed in a thriller of a game. If BYU can pull off a win at Colorado, it will be facing off against the Tar heels again, this time in North Carolina. To be able to get revenge for both tournament losses, the team will have to focus on the first step: beating Colorado.
2. The Cougars will have to fight against a stingy Colorado defense
BYU has a high-powered offense that is built to outscore opponents, but that attack will have to be on point against a Colorado defense that doesn’t give up too many goals. The Buffs have only conceded 16 goals total on the entire season, averaging a little less than 1 goal per game against (cubuffs.com). If BYU wants to get past the first round of tournament play, it will have to turn up the offensive pressure.
3. Colorado comes in on a four-game unbeaten streak
The Buffaloes finished their conference play in strong fashion, going unbeaten in its last four games including a win against Utah, a team that beat the Cougars this season. Confidence will be key for the Cougars in stopping to a team that is rolling. If BYU wants to stop that unbeaten streak, it will need to shake off the tough loss against Pepperdine last weekend and focus on its great conference play.
4. The Buff’s held their own in a tough conference
Colorado comes into the game 13-6-1 (6-4-1 in the Pac-12). While the record doesn’t show it, those losses came at the hands of some of college soccer’s notorious powerhouses. The Buffs went down to No. 1 UCLA, No. 4 Stanford, No.12 California and No. 18 USC all in conference play (courtesy of cubuffs.com). The only bad losses during the season came to Kent State and Kansas at the beginning of the season. Despite those losses, Colorado found a way to come out of the conference with a bid to the tournament and will be a formidable opponent for the Cougars.
5. You can keep up with the match on the Pac-12 Network
For Cougar fans that want to watch the game, it will be broadcast live on the Pac-12 Network for those fans in the Mountain and Arizona broadcast regions. The game can also be streamed online on the network’s website.