BYU celebrates a goal against New Mexico at South Field on Saturday. (Melissa Collado)

BYU women’s soccer scores 6 goals in NCAA opener against New Mexico

No. 4 seed BYU women’s soccer faced off against the New Mexico Lobos in the first round of the NCAA playoffs on Saturday night in Provo. The Cougars won 6-0, sending themselves into the second round of the tournament.

The last time these teams met was in 2010 when BYU was still part of the Mountain West Conference. BYU is 15-4-2 all-time against New Mexico. 

The game was quick and physical from the start, with two fouls called in the first five minutes. 

Every attack from the Cougars was countered swiftly by the Lobos in the first half. Despite the back and forth battle, the Cougars continued to pepper the goal with shots.

Myah Isais for New Mexico and BYU’s Mikayla Colohan raced for the ball to keep it in during the 35th minute. Isais slide tackled Colohan, resulting in a yellow card.

In the 36th minute, Lobo goalkeeper Emily Johnson came off her line to block a shot which rebounded back into the field. Cameron Tucker collected the ball and took the shot which sliced right through two defenders and into the goal.  

Cameron Tucker dribbles around a New Mexico defender on Saturday. (Melissa Collado)

At halftime, BYU led New Mexico in shots, 21-1. By the end of the game, BYU had 40 shots compared to New Mexico’s four.

“Our coach always says ‘score first, score early, and score again,’” sophomore Brecken Mozingo said. The Cougars did just that and Mozingo led the charge. 

In the 53rd minute, Mozingo scored the second goal of the night for the Cougars after receiving the ball from Makaylie Moore.

The continual bombardment from the Cougars paid off in the 55th minute when Mozingo shot the ball like a cannon at the net. The ball slid right under the Lobo keeper as she dove for it.

Brecken Mozingo takes a free kick against New Mexico on Saturday. (Melissa Collado)

“Soccer is kind of up there in a game of chance a little bit. Anything can happen,” Mozingo said of the need to score more goals in the second half. “So we all just came out and decided that this is the half we need to go off.”

The Cougars refused to let their guard down and continued to play with intensity and controlled the game. Jamie Shepherd scored BYU’s fourth goal, and her first of the season, in the 64th minute.

Cougar fans were invigorated by the team’s performance. A group of fans emphatically sang “We’ve got the ball” when the Cougars had possession. 

Once BYU obtained full momentum, the Cougars were unstoppable. Kendell Petersen scored the Cougar’s fifth goal in the 69th minute. 

New Mexico’s defense began to fracture as BYU continued to keep play in New Mexico’s half and attack the goal. Ellie Maughan scored the Cougars’ sixth, and final, goal in the 71st minute after an assist from Petersen.

New Mexico and BYU continued to play physically up until the sound of the buzzer. The Cougars finished the night with six goals. This is the eighth game this season in which they have scored six or more goals. 

Jamie Shepherd high-fives fans after the BYU win at South Field. (Melissa Collado)

“This was a good game for us, New Mexico is quite physical and I thought we held our own,” head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. She said she felt that it was a great game to play before their next game against a physical SEC team.

The Cougars will face Alabama in the second round of the NCAA tournament. The two teams will play on a neutral field in Charlottesville, Virginia on Thursday, Nov. 18.

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