(Photo by BYU Photo/Bella Torgerson)
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - No. 19 ranked BYU women's soccer couldn't overcome a 2-0 first half deficit in the second round of the NCAA tournament against Colorado on Thursday.
The Cougars (15-5-1, 8-1-0) outshot the Buffaloes (14-6-2) 17-11 and controlled the majority of the chances in the second half, but Colorado managed to hold off the BYU attack down the stretch.
In the 82nd minute, the Cougars had their best look at equalizing on a corner kick. Marissa Nimmer sent the ball to the far post where Ella Johnson tried to tuck it in the far post, but the keeper saved it. The rebound ended up at Cloee Colohan's feet, but her shot hit off the underside of the post, bounced out and was cleared.
BYU's first goal came in the 58th minute. Rachel Manning took a shot in the box right into Niki Fernandes. Fernandes sent it into the open side of the goal for the Cougars first goal of the night.
"In the second half, we had some chances, but we just couldn't get a clean look," BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. "I thought we were going to tie it up with the momentum going our way."
Colorado scored its first goal on a corner kick in the 20th minute. Anne Stuller sent her corner to the near post where it deflected to Emily Paxton who hit the inside of the far post for a 1-0 lead.
The Buffaloes second goal came from a long distance shot at the top of the box in the 33rd minute. Carly Bolyard's shot slipped through Owens' hands and bounced over the line for a 2-0 advantage.
BYU was led by Fernandes' six shots and her goal. Colohan took three shots, while Nimmer and Ella Johnson each had two.
The loss ended BYU's season and the Cougars' eight-game winning streak. BYU won its second straight West Coast Conference championship sharing the title with Santa Clara and Portland.
"I think we exceeded expectations this year," Rockwood said. "Especially after what we were able to accomplish last year. I'm really proud of the team."
Colorado advanced to face the winner of the Florida State-Ole Miss game played later Thursday night.
BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood Quotes
"It was very disappointing for us. I think for us as coaches and players that's the hardest part of ending the season - not having a chance to lace it up with your seniors one again."
"I think we exceeded expectations this year. Especially after what we were able to accomplish last year. I'm really proud of the team."
"We played pretty well, but not our best tonight and when you don't play at your best at this level it's going to be hard to win games."
"In the second half, we had some chances, but we just couldn't get a clean look. I thought we were going to tie it up with the momentum going our way."
"We got off to a pretty good start and when we gave up the goal, the second goal especially, the girls got a little bit rattled. We lost a little bit of our confidence but we came out in the second half and battled hard for it. Cloee hit the post there at the end it just didn't go our way."