Mikayla Colohan takes a shot at South Field. Colohan and the Cougars were unable to get a goal against Virginia in the NCAA second round. (Preston Crawley)

No. 12 BYU women’s soccer shut out in NCAA Tournament loss to Virginia

The No. 12 BYU women’s soccer team was unable to find the back of the net in a 2-0 loss to Virginia in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday afternoon in Cary, North Carolina.

Coming into the match, BYU held a 53-game scoring streak, which was snapped by the hands of the Cavaliers.

The Cougars had numerous opportunities to push their scoring streak to 54 games but were unable to score on their 11 shots on goal. BYU applied pressure throughout the match as they outshot Virginia 19-11.

The Cavaliers were lead by goalkeeper Laurel Ivory, who had an impressive performance between the sticks with a career-high 11 saves.

Alexa Spaanstra provided the offensive spark for Virginia as her brace was more than enough to help the Cavaliers into the third round.

The Cougars exploded out of the gates offensively in the first 30 minutes of the match, piling on chance after chance, each eventually stopped by Ivory.

Two minutes into the match, BYU nearly snatched an early lead as Makaylie Call’s diving header was met by a diving Ivory and Bella Folino’s follow-up shot was also saved by Ivory.

WCC Offensive Player of the Year Mikayla Colohan had a pair of great chances early on that forced saves by Ivory. The first chance was a low-driven shot to the bottom right that brought out a diving save by Ivory. Colohan followed that up with a floating header that nearly snuck into the top-left of the net.

Colohan then provided a golden opportunity as she sent a lobbed through-ball to Cameron Tucker for a one-on-one chance, which Ivory parried out of harm’s way.

Against the pace of play, the Cavaliers’ Alexa Spaanstra shot an unstoppable rocket that found the top-left corner of the net to put Virginia up 1-0.

Virginia’s counter-attacking style led to more offensive chances opening up in the second half as the Cavaliers nearly doubled their lead with a one-on-one opportunity that was saved by BYU goalkeeper Cassidy Smith.

BYU almost found an equalizer as Tucker had another one-on-one opportunity saved by Ivory.

With the Cougars unable to find the back of the net, Virginia doubled its lead as Spaanstra found the top-left corner of the net again after BYU failed to clear the ball in its own penalty box.

BYU put forth a valiant effort until the end but was unable to do damage with the opportunities given.

The Cougars finished the 2021 spring season with an 11-4-1 record, and will take the field once against in August for the start of the traditional fall season.

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