No. 12 BYU women’s soccer knocks off No. 16 Pepperdine to win 8th WCC title in 11 years
No. 12 BYU women’s soccer honored six seniors as the Cougars washed away the No. 16 Pepperdine Waves 1-0 in a double-overtime thriller on Senior Night Nov. 6 — clinching a share of the West Coast Conference Championship for the eighth time in 11 years.
After 103 minutes of scoreless soccer, BYU forward Brecken Mozingo served a free kick into the box that was deflected by Pepperdine goalie Zoe Clevely directly to the foot of senior forward Cameron Tucker who sent it into the back of the net for the game-winner.
“I just saw it rebound and thought to myself, there’s the one I’ve been waiting for all night,” Tucker said. “I just tried to stay calm and composed and put it in the back of the net.”
The Cougars joined the WCC in 2011 and have since won at least a share of the WCC Championship in eight of their 11 seasons in the conference.
With the Santa Clara Broncos also earning an overtime victory Saturday afternoon, the Cougars and Broncos share the WCC Championship after posting matching 8-1 records in WCC play.
BYU possessed the ball for much of the first 15 minutes of the match, taking seven shots, two of which found the frame in contrast to Pepperdine’s lone shot.
The Cougars’ first real scoring threat came in the 32nd minute as Mozingo sent a free kick into the box finding Mikayla Colohan, but her header sailed just wide.
The Waves had a chance of their own in the 34th minute off a corner kick, but Colohan omitted the scoring chance by clearing the shot over the goal line out of bounds.
BYU dominated the majority of the first half, controlling the tempo, possessing the ball in the attacking third and outshooting Pepperdine 12-2 in the first 40 minutes. Despite the disparity in shots, neither team found the back of the net, sending the Cougars into the halftime break deadlocked with the Waves.
Before Saturday, the Cougars had yet to win a game this season in which they didn’t hold a halftime lead.
In the 56th minute, Grace Johnson was called for a handball just outside the BYU box, giving Pepperdine a free kick. The Waves sent the free kick directly into the BYU wall and the rebound was sent weakly to BYU goalkeeper Cassidy Smith for her third save of the night.
Tucker made a fantastic move in the 59th minute to shake her defender just outside the box and sent a rocket toward the left side of the goal which the goalie narrowly got a hand on. It was deflected out to Mozingo whose shot was blocked by a Pepperdine defender out to Jamie Shepherd who took a third shot that was once again saved by the Pepperdine keeper.
The Waves applied pressure in the 67th minute, earning three straight corner kicks, each of which gave them a good opportunity to score the go-ahead goal, but couldn’t find the back of the net. The final, and best, shot of the night for the Waves was a rocket from the right side that found the woodwork, before being cleared by the Cougars.
The Cougars made a late charge, controlling the ball during the last six minutes and taking three shots in the 87th minute, but still couldn’t find the back of the net. The Cougars’ last shot of regulation came from Colohan, whose shot missed wide sending the match to a first overtime session.
It was BYU’s third trip to overtime this season, the others being a double-overtime thriller against Utah that ended in a draw and a loss to Utah State at South Field.
The Cougars earned a corner kick in the 92nd minute that led to a BYU offsides call. Tucker took a shot just two minutes later that was one of the Cougars’ best scoring chances of the match, but still couldn’t find the back of the net.
In the 99th minute, Mozingo played a cross into the box that pinballed around, finding the foot of Colohan, whose shot was narrowly saved by the Pepperdine keeper.
Zoe Clevely, the Pepperdine goalkeeper, faced 25 shots, eight of which were on frame, and recorded seven saves on the night, each of which set career bests.
The first overtime period ended in a 0-0 tie sending the game into a second and decisive overtime. After the Santa Clara win earlier in the day putting them at 8-1 in conference play, the Cougars couldn’t afford a draw if they wanted a share of the WCC title.
With only six minutes left in the second overtime, Colohan was fouled from behind just outside the box and a yellow card was issued to Pepperdine’s Carlee Giammona, earning the Cougars a free kick.
Mozingo sent the ensuing free kick into the box and the ball was deflected by the goalkeeper directly to the foot of Tucker who found the bottom right corner of the goal, securing the Senior Night victory and a share of the WCC Championship.
“I’m so proud of our team, so proud of our staff and how hard everyone has worked this season,” BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwoodsaid. “This was a great college match between two great teams, and I guess Cam just wanted to make it dramatic and score when it really counted.”
BYU will now await its NCAA Tournament seeding which will be announced during the NCAA selection show on Monday at 2:30 p.m. MST on the NCAA women’s soccer website.