No. 1 seed BYU women’s soccer hosts Michigan State for Sweet Sixteen match
No. 1 seeded BYU women’s soccer hosts no. 5 seed Michigan State in Provo in round three of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday.
The Sweet Sixteen matchup marks the Cougars’ third consecutive round three appearance and a program first for the Spartans.
Michigan State’s continues their historic season after their first ever second round victory against no. 4 seed Harvard on Nov. 16.
“To be one of the last sixteen teams left in this tournament is a pretty amazing feeling,” head coach Jeff Hosler said to Michigan State Athletics.
The Spartans finished their record breaking season at No. 15 in the United Soccer Coaches poll, their first program postseason ranking, and secured themselves a fifth seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Michigan State and BYU have met four times previously with the Cougars leading the series 4-0.
The teams met last in 2008 in Provo where BYU shut the Spartans out 2-0.
BYU enters the third round off of a 1-0 shutout win over USC, clinched by senior Bella Folino’s goal in the 58th minute.
“Our commitment as a team to defend was the difference- we busted our behinds to get behind the ball and not allow any good opportunities,” Folino said.
The Cougars continue their No. 1 seed stretch leading the country in goals (72) and total assists.
BYU’s second in the nation scoring offense becomes imperative entering this matchup against the Spartans who provide a 13-1-2 record when scoring first.
The Cougars have found their two losses on the season in games where they weren’t able to score first. Thankfully the Cougars have shown they can come back either tie the match (Texas Tech & Cincinnati) or just clinch the win like in their first meeting with Texas this season.
BYU hosts the third round of the NCAA tournament on Saturday against Michigan State at 6 pm MDT at South Field.