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BYU celebrates during its 5-1 win over Boise State in the opening round of the NCAA tournament. (Addie Blacker)

BYU advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament with a big win over Mountain West champion Boise State. This marks the first meeting between the two programs and Boise State’s first NCAA tournament appearance since 2009. 

Both teams fought aggressively for the chance to be first on the scoreboard with an energy that endured throughout the match.

Cameron Tucker scored two goals in the first 20 minutes — her first coming in the 19th minute and her second coming a little bit over a minute later in the 20th minute.

Tucker’s scored her first goal off of an assist credited to both Jamie Sheppard and SaraJayne Affleck — two players who were recently named to the WCC All-Freshman team.

Cameron Tucker battles with a Boise State defender for the ball on Nov. 15 in the first round of the NCAA tournament (Addie Blacker)

Senior forward Elise Flake tallied an assist on Tucker’s second goal, playing off the aggressive energy from the first score of the night. 

Boise State answered the Cougars’ goals with a goal of its own from Emily Curry in the 22nd minute. This proved to be Boise State’s only goal of the night. 

The second half began with another BYU goal within the first 10 minutes. Lizzy Braby controlled the ball along the sideline and brought it back into the center of the field passing it to Sheppard who rocketed the ball through a crowd of Bronco and Cougar players before finding the back of the net in the 54th minute. 

The aggressive play was enhanced when the referee gave Boise State the first yellow card of the night.

The fourth BYU goal of the night came from Affleck off an assist from Braby. Affleck knocked it over the head of Bronco goalkeeper Sydney Smith into the net.

In the 67th minute, Flake was wide open when she brought the score to 5-1 with an assist from Tucker. At this point, BYU began pulling the starters and emptying the bench, giving the bench an opportunity to record some playing time while BYU rested its starters.

Sophomore Ashton Brockbank slides past two Boise State defenders during the first round of the NCAA tournament at South Field. (Addie Blacker)

“An exciting night for BYU soccer. The girls have worked really hard to get to the point to host the NCAA tournament,” coach Jennifer Rockwood said. “We were pleased with the way we finished up the game and are excited to continue.”

With this 5-1 win in the opening round of the tournament, BYU’s season goal record climbed to 73-10. 

BYU will take on Louisville in the second round of the NCAA tournament on Thursday, Nov. 21, at 6 p.m. at South Field.

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