BYU falls to Stanford 2-1 in second round of NCAA tournament

Maddi Dayton
Midfielder Elena Medeiros traps in the ball in the first round of the NCAA tournament against UVU on Saturday, Nov. 14. BYU battled hard in its 2-1 loss to Stanford in the second round. (Maddi Dayton)

The BYU women’s soccer team fought hard to tie Stanford on its first penalty kick of the season but came up short 2-1 in an emotional rematch in the second round of the NCAA tournament in Palo Alto, California.

The Cougars (16-3-2) were calm and composed throughout the first half, unlike the overwhelmed way they played in a 1-0 loss at Stanford (18-2-1) earlier this season. BYU played confidently and consistently applied pressure on the Cardinal offense to overcome a one-point deficit, but couldn’t overcome a second one-point deficit.

“It was our goal to make them uncomfortable everywhere, including the goalkeeper,” associate head coach Chris Watkins said. “And I think that’s what makes it so tough to lose — we did what we wanted to do and still lost. And that’s frustrating.”

Midfielder Jordan DiBiassi scored both of Stanford’s goals to put them up by one in the 28th minute and again in the 75th minute. She took a quick shot at the top of 18-yard box that sailed into the upper left corner of the goal to give the Cardinal a 1-0 lead. DiBiassi connected with the net again as she tapped in a cross forward Kyra Carusahad sent along the endline. DiBiassi also scored Stanford’s only goal on Labor Day.

Watkins said Stanford did a great job receiving and combining passes, particularly in BYU’s defensive third of the field. The Cougars had to defend this style so often that passes were bound to get through.

BYU capitalized on its first penalty kick of the season to tie Stanford 1-1 early in the second half. Midfielder Bizzy Phillips took the penalty kick and drove it to the back of the net in the 46th minute as Cardinal goalkeeper Jane Campbell dove the opposite direction. Forward Nadia Gomes was fouled inside the box, leading to the penalty shot and Phillips’ second goal of the season.

“Nadia is a special girl, nice and quick and was able to get fouled,” Watkins said. “And Bizzy, to her credit, steps up with a lot of pressure and finishes the ball.”

Stanford outshot BYU 15-10, but the Cougars made one more shot on goal, getting six shots on frame to the Cardinal’s five. All-American forward Ashley Hatch came in off the bench and had four shots, three of which were on goal. Phillips had two shots while Gomes and forward Madie Lyons had one a piece.

BYU goalkeeper Rachel Boaz had three saves on the night while Campbell had five.

“It’s really hard to lose and play to our game plan and have the girls play as hard as they can,” Watkins said. “The girls did everything we asked them to do and worked their butts off tonight.”

Stanford will advance to the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament and play Arizona in two days on Saturday, Nov. 21 at 1 p.m. (PST) at their home field in Palo Alto, California.

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