BYU women’s soccer fights to defeat Utah Valley 3-0 in first round of NCAA tournament

BYU women’s soccer fought to get a 3-0 win over Utah Valley Friday night at South Field to kick off the first round of the NCAA tournament.

“No better place to play than here in front of a full crowd. This was a tough game, it’s so fulfilling to see where we are at right now as we just got off to a rough start,” BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood said.

The two teams faced off in September, with Utah Valley coming out on top and teaching BYU a great deal, as the Cougars haven’t lost since then game and were looking to clear their name in Friday’s showdown. 

Both teams completely battled throughout the first 20 minutes of the game with BYU slightly ahead as its passing game was top tier. 

The neighborhood rivalry matchup had fans packed on top of each other despite the frigid outside temperature.

The fight continued as UVU and BYU both scrambled into the 38th minute. In minute 39, things turned around for the Cougars, with BYU’s Allie Fryer rebounded a shot off the crossbar and struck with her right foot into the net with just minutes left in the first half, giving BYU a 1-0 lead going into halftime.

As the second half kicked off, the two teams were quick to get back to it as there was extreme defensive pressure on both sides of the ball.

In the 65th minute, the Cougars still only led by one point over the Wolverines. However, their stats were dominant: BYU was at 15 shots, five shots on goal and five corners compared to UVU’s nine shots, four shots on goal and two corners. 

BYU found the back of the net for the second time with just 20 minutes left. Jamie Shepherd and Bella Folino assisted Tara Warner with her left-footed goal, putting the Cougars up 2-0.

With the momentum still hot, BYU’s Rachel McCarthy was quick to get the third goal of the night after getting around the defense and putting the ball in the back of the net in the 78th.

“It was a little pressure off my back as I’ve been wanting that second goal all season,” McCarthy said. “It meant everything to win, just getting a second chance and to show them that it was a fluke the first time.”

BYU will face the winner of the matchup between Stanford and San Jose State next for the second round of tournament play.

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