BYU women’s soccer begins program’s first Big 12 tournament

BYU makes its Big 12 women’s soccer tournament debut in Round Rock, Texas Monday. The tournament marks the first for newcomers BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF.

Conference play began Saturday, Oct. 28 with 3-2 upset by 9 seed Cincinnati against 8 seed Baylor and a 1-0 shutout by 10 seed Oklahoma against 7 seed Oklahoma State.

As the second seed, the Cougars start play on Monday against Oklahoma in their first ever Big 12 tournament game.

The 10 seed Sooners pulled off the upset against the Cowgirls after a grueling shootout, securing the win with a goal in the 78th minute by junior Esalenna Galekhutle. The late win advances Oklahoma to the quarterfinals against BYU.

The Cougars (7-0-3) met the Sooners (3-5-2) one other time this season on a two-game away trip, shutting them out 2-0.

“Oklahoma is a very dangerous, very direct team, which is really hard to contain,” head coach Jennifer Rockwood said to BYU Athletics following their matchup in Norman, Oklahoma.

Oklahoma outshot BYU 13-10, but BYU clinched their third shutout in a row with two goals by Rachel McCarthy and Ellie Walbruch.

“We are so excited for the tournament because we know we have a great team that is so deep, with so many different talents,” said sophomore Erin Bailey. “If we play our game, I don’t know who can stop up.”

BYU remains No. 2 in the Big 12 because of their third conference tie against Texas Tech.

BYU goes into the tournament ranked No. 6 in the country by the NCAA Committee behind the Big 12 regular season champion No. 5 Texas Tech.

If BYU can dethrone the 1 seed Red Raiders, they have a chance to bring themselves up in the NCAA Committee rankings and secure a No. 1 seed ranking for the NCAA tournament in North Carolina.

The one seeded teams will have the opportunity to host their opening tournament game and secures home field advantage.

BYU faces Oklahoma on Monday, Oct. 30 at 5:30 CT in Texas.

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