BYU women’s soccer advances to NCAA quarterfinals after 3-0 shutout

Elise Flake prepares to kick the ball during BYU women’s soccer‘s game against North Carolina State on Nov. 23. (Addie Blacker)

No. 2 seeded BYU women’s soccer is advancing to the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2012 after a 3-0 shutout against North Carolina State on Saturday, Nov. 23.

“We try to attack as a team and defend as a team,” head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. “It just makes all the difference. Our attacking players play a tremendous amount of defense and our defensive players can help us keep the ball and set the tone.”

The Cougars began their attack within the first three minutes of the game with a shot each from Jamie Shepherd and Elise Flake. The majority of play remained midfield for the next few minutes. Forward Cameron Tucker made the first goal of the night assisted by midfielder Mikayla Colohan in the 12th minute. 

Lizzy Braby attempted a shot in minute 18. Neither team was able to successfully attack; Flake made a shot, then the majority of play continued on the offensive side. SaraJayne Affleck took her first shot of the night in the 25th minute, then play returned to the midfield until BYU stole the ball and Josie Guinn made a goal in minute 33. 

“Josie’s practiced that shot almost every day this year,” Rockwood said. “She’s earned that.”

North Carolina took one shot during the first half. BYU finished the first half with seven shots, four of which were on goal. 

BYU picked up its attack in the second half just as quickly as it had in the first, and Tucker made her second goal of the evening at minute 48. Flake took her third shot in minute 53, but it flew high. Play then returned to the Cougar’s defensive side. 

Sabrina Davis made her first save of the night in minute 56 and then another in minute 60. BYU regained possession and Flake immediately took the ball downfield for a shot in minute 61. Play returned to midfield, and North Carolina stole the ball and ran it down the field before taking another shot, which Davis successfully blocked. 

Flake attempted two more shots in minutes 61 and 67, the second of which was her fifth shot of the game and second shot on goal. The majority of play remained on BYU’s defensive side. Davis blocked a sixth North Carolina shot in minute 77. In minute 83, BYU made an offensive push and Ella Ballstaedt took a shot which was immediately followed by a shot from Danika Serassio and two corner kicks in minutes 82 and 83. 

Davis made another save in the 88th minute, which left North Carolina goalless. Davis was named the player of the match because of her strong second half.

BYU will face the winner of the Stanford vs. Penn State matchup next week on Nov. 29 or 30. 

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