How nice: BYU advances to NCAA 3rd round on penalties against Stanford


In this file photo, BYU Women’s Soccer defeats Utah 2-1, Sept. 17, 2022, at South Field in Provo. (Joey Garrison, BYU Photo)

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PROVO — In a lengthy meeting of historic regional rival soccer programs, 90 minutes wasn’t enough to decide the NCAA women’s soccer second-round game between No. 14 BYU and No. 6 Stanford.

110 minutes either.

After a 1-1 tie in two overtime periods, it all ended in a shootout, a place the Cougars should feel familiar after last season’s run to their first-ever national championship game.

BYU might like those shots on goal, after Ellie Maughan converted the game-winning kick in the fifth round of a shootout to advance to the third round of the NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament 5-4 Thursday afternoon for the eighth time in program history at Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

The victory snapped the Cougars’ five-game losing streak against the Cardinal (17-2-3).

“They knocked us out, but I think we beat them once at South Field. A lot of alumni are proud of that,” BYU coach Jennifer Rockwood told BYU Radio. “Stanford has some amazing players, and we’ve drawn them quite a bit into the NCAA Tournament. So it feels good to get a win.

“PKs are a tough way to end a game, but Stanford had a great year, won the Pac-12, and we feel lucky moving forward.”

The Cougars (11-2-7) switched goalies ahead of the shootout, trading seven potential goalie Savanna Mason for Taygan Sill, and the 5-foot-8 Davis High rookie made him count with the only the penalty shoot-out was halted to set up the Maughan winner who sent shockwaves over 2,100 miles away.

Before replacing Mason, Sill – who had only played four games during the regular season with two goals allowed – sat on the bench the entire game, in addition to the Cougars win 3-0 over crosstown rival Utah Valley in the first round. But after a brief warm-up, she did all it took to send her team to back-to-back knockout stages for the first time in program history.

“Taygan is a great shot blocker; my heart goes out to her,” Maughan said. “She’s a freshman, and she really took charge. You can’t ask for much more from her. She blocked a shot, and that was exactly what we needed to get through. next round.”

Sill knew change was coming, Rockwood admitted after the match, but she was ready.

“Taygan is phenomenal,” Rockwood said. “She was a very good goalkeeper, although we weren’t lucky enough to bring her in as much as we wanted. While we started taking PKs towards the end of the season, we had felt like she was doing a really good job reading the PKs. We felt like that was her specialty right now, and she knew coming in we could use her.

“We practiced these PKs and have had a very good experience from the last two years with our group,” added the head coach. “They stepped up and got the job done.”

Brecken Mozingo, Olivia Wade, Olivia Smith and Laveni Vaka each converted from the spot, setting up Maughan’s attempt after Sill’s only save in the shootout. The Weber High junior didn’t look back, laying the ball down ever so slightly angled to her left and pushing the worm burner across the goal line inside the left post to send the Cougars forward.

Abby Gruebel, Maya Doms, Julia Leontini and Jasmine Aikey each converted a penalty for the Cardinal.

BYU struck first in the fourth minute. Wade buried an unassisted shot into the back of the net on the Cougars’ first shot of the game. The former Davis High standout picked the ball off a deflected pass from the Stanford wing, drifted down the center and uncorked a 25-yard shot that hit the bottom left corner past the Stanford goalkeeper Ryan Campbell to give the Cougars the early advantage.

Samantha Williams nearly equalized seven minutes later, but the crossbar prevented her from winning the gold as the Cardinal beat BYU 6-1 in the opening minutes of the game played at Dorrance Field on the University campus. from North Carolina.

This kind of pressure didn’t last long.

Aikey scored his fifth goal of the NCAA Tournament, finishing a through ball from Dom in the 22nd minute to tie it, 1-1.

In the ninth all-time meeting between the two schools, including Stanford’s 5-1 NCAA quarterfinal victory in 2019, which was the fifth post-season meeting all-time, two of the the nation’s top teams in shots per game launched an offense. clinic in the first few minutes. The Cardinal beat the Cougars 16-7 in the first half, but only shot five on target against BYU’s four.

Rachel McCarthy nearly gave BYU the go-ahead, beating the defense in the 59th minute and trying to direct her shot at Campbell. But the attempt sank from the top right post to remain deadlocked at one goal apiece. Second-half substitute Zoe Jacobs snatched a 20-yard bomb on goal in the 84th minute, but Campbell rose to the challenge, tipping the attempt over the crossbar to tie the game six minutes from time. the end.

Stanford had two chances to win the game in the final 30 seconds of regulation, but Sierra Enge’s shot was deflected and Avani Brandt’s final effort was easily blocked by Mason to force extra time.

“It wasn’t our best performance overall; we struggled a bit against a really good team,” Rockwood said. “But we were just a bit behind and gave the ball away a lot. That led to some good counter opportunities for Stanford, but football is a tricky move. We’ve been on both sides.

“We just kept fighting, got a lot of good plays from different players that stepped up into a great game, and sometimes the biggest step is overcoming the name with national prominence at Stanford.”

Thanks to 45 shots, 16 shots on goal and 16 corner kicks, neither team could find a winner in 90 minutes of regulation time. This set up two 10-minute overtime periods, neither of which was decided by a golden goal due to an NCAA rule change implemented this year.

The Cougars qualified to face third-seeded North Carolina at 9:30 a.m. MST Saturday morning. The host Tar Heels, who beat Georgia 3-1 in Chapel Hill’s other regional semifinal, beat BYU 2-0 in a home exhibition game Aug. 13.

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A proud graduate of Syracuse University, Sean Walker has been covering BYU for since 2015, while blending prep sports, education and whatever his editors throw at him.

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