The BYU women’s soccer team won the first round of the NCAA tournament beating UVU 1-0.
The team will meet Stanford in round two next week.
The Cougars sealed the win with a goal by midfielder Elena Medeiros is the 21st minute. The goal came off of a pass from WCC player of the year Nadia Gomes who received the ball off a sideline pass from Sophomore Jocelyn Loomis. Gomes played with the ball for a few seconds, drew the defenders around her and then passed the ball through them to the center of the box where a waiting Medeiros sailed it into the back of the net. This was the only goal of the game and Medeiros’ eighth goal of the season.
“It was a really fast goal,” Medeiros said. “I think it was one of the prettiest goals we’ve seen all season because the ball came into the center, we’ve been working on getting the ball into the center and then going wide and then coming back in and that’s when those gaps open. So, the ball went wide and then came back in and that’s when Nadia slotted it through and I shot it and it went in. It was a great goal.”
BYU has a great attacking offense, but what makes BYU such a formidable opponent according to UVU head coach Brent Anderson is such a strong midfield. The opposing teams spend most of their energy on defense and then there is nothing left to put into the attack with all the movement and combination plays of such a dynamic middle line.
The Cougars will meet Stanford for the second time this year next Thursday in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Stanford is one of the premier soccer programs in the country according to Rockwood and BYU’s first loss of the season came from a Stanford home field advantage. This second match-up will also take place at Stanford. If BYU wins on Thursday they have the possibility of meeting fellow WCC competitor Santa Clara in the Sweet 16 round of the tournament on Saturday.
“We are really excited to go back out there and to have another shot at them,” Rockwood said. “They, Stanford, have been there and they’ve done that and our girls have to go in believing that we’ve made such great strides and improvements since we played them and they just have to believe they can go toe to toe with Stanford.”