(Photo by Boulder Daily Camera)
BOULDER, Colo. – For the second straight season No. 15 BYU women's soccer was eliminated from the NCAA tournament by Colorado, losing 2-0 on Saturday at Prentup Field.
The Buffs scored a goal in each half as they gave the Cougars a first-round loss for the first time since 2007 when they lost 2-0 to Texas. The last time BYU didn't make it past the first round was in 2010, falling in PKs to UCLA after a scoreless draw.
"The weather was obviously a key factor and a difficult situation to play in,” BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. “That was difficult for us to control the ball and take advantage of a lot of our speed and our combination play."
On Saturday, Colorado struck first in the seventh minute as Olivia Pappalardo shot from 20 yards from the right side of the goal back towards the middle for a 1-0 lead. The Buffs added their second goal in the 53rd minute when Colorado was able to maintain possession after a corner kick. Madison Krauser scored off a cross from Morgan Stanton to make it 2-0.
Colorado advances to play North Carolina in the NCAA second round after shutting out its fourth opponent in its last five games.
"It was hard to chase the game a little bit," Rockwood said. " For us, the girls kept battling, but it’s hard. They scored a great goal against it. We had a couple chances to get it back and tie it but when that second goal went in, it’s just hard to battle back in these conditions.”
The Cougars outshot their opponent 20-10, but the Buffaloes had more shots on goal 9-8. That accuracy by Colorado led BYU keeper Katherine Snyder to make the second most saves in an NCAA tournament game in BYU history with seven. The Cougars did force Colorado keeper Kate Scheele into eight saves.
Marissa Nimmer led BYU in shots with four, putting two on frame. Ashley Hatch took three shots and put two on goal while Nadia Gomes took three shots. Jaiden Thornock, Michele Murphy and Niki Fernandes each took two shots.
Starting defender Avery Calton left the game just 13 minutes in and didn't return. The game was the final one for seniors Annie Amos, Jaiden Thornock, Katherine Snyder and Niki Fernandes.
"Obviously we’re disappointed with the result but we had a great season," Rockwood said. " Tough conditions to play in and it didn’t seem to go our way today, but we wish Colorado all the best."