BYU women's soccer celebrates their 4-1 Elite Eight victory over the South Carolina Gamecocks. (BYU Photo)

BYU throttles South Carolina to advance to first Final Four in program history

BYU women’s soccer took down the South Carolina Gamecocks 4-1 in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament in front of a sold-out crowd at South Field Saturday to advance to the Final Four for the first time.

BYU moves to 17-4-1 on the season with tonight’s win and advances to the first College Cup – the Final Four in women’s soccer – in the 27-year history of the program. After taking down the Gamecocks, BYU will face West Coast Conference rival and the defending national champion Santa Clara Broncos.

Jennifer Rockwood’s teams had previously reached the Elite Eight three times in 2003, 2012 and 2019 but never made it to the final weekend of the college soccer season before this year.

BYU wasted no time, scoring the game’s first goal in the third minute to take a 1-0 lead. Mikayla Colohan made a move up the middle and threaded the needle to find the foot of Makaylie Moore who beat the goalie to put it into the back of the net.

The Cougars scored the eventual game-winner in the 15th minute. Cameron Tucker received a pass just inside the box on the right flank, beat her defender to the goal line and sent a perfect pass into the box to fellow senior Colohan who only needed one touch to put BYU up 2-0.

South Carolina scored in the 40th minute to cut the deficit to one heading into the intermission, but the Cougars again stretched the lead to two just 1:06 into the second half.  Brecken Mozingo beat her defender to the end line and played a perfect cross to Colohan who sent it past the Gamecock goalie for her second goal of the game.

Mikayla Colohan evades South Carolina defenders on Saturday at South Field. (Dallin Wilks)

From there the Cougars didn’t look back, with Moore scoring her second goal of the night in the 61st minute. Olivia Wade served a beautiful corner kick into a mass of players crowded in the middle of the box and Moore’s header deflected off a Gamecock defender and in for the Cougars’ fourth goal of the match.

Tonight’s four goals mark the 11th time the Cougars have scored four or more goals in a match this season, three of those games coming in the NCAA Tournament.

BYU held South Carolina to one goal in tonight’s Elite Eight match, which is only the second goal allowed by the Cougars at South Field since October 16th when they took down the Pacific Tigers in a 6-1 victory.

BYU and Santa Clara face off on Dec. 3 in California with the time still to be determined. The Final Four will be broadcast on ESPNU.

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