(Photo by BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah – Michele Vasconcelos and Elena Medeiros each scored a goal to propel No. 4 BYU women’s soccer over UNLV in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Friday night at South Field.
"I thought the girls did a great job," BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. "They came out strong against a very good UNLV team that was very athletic and obviously had one of their best seasons. It was a challenge for us, but we came out and got a nice goal in the first half that helped us relax a little bit. We challenged the girls to score as early as they could in the second half, and we did that."
BYU vs. UNLV Box Score
BYU improved to 17-2-1 overall while UNLV finished their season 17-3-3.
Vasconcelos found the back of the net first for the Cougars in the 20th minute after a cross from Ashley Hatch. Vasconcelos’ shot deflected off a UNLV defender around the penalty spot making it nearly impossible to stop. It was her 15th goal of the season and the sixth consecutive game she’s scored. Hatch was credited with the assist.
BYU's defense held UNLV to a scoreless first half as the Cougars went into halftime with a 1-0 lead.
BYU opened the second half with another goal after Nadia Gomes connected with Paige Hunt Barker who fired it off to Medeiros in the 47th minute. Medeiros hammered a one-touch shot from the left side of the box as the ball flew past the left side of the keeper. It marked her sixth goal of the year as Barker and Medeiros picked up assists.
The Cougars' two goals were enough to secure a 2-0 victory and advance to the second round of the tournament. Goalkeeper Hannah Clark recorded two saves for BYU's 13th shutout of the season. The Cougars recorded 10 shots on goal while holding UNLV to just two.
This is the fourth time in the last five years BYU has advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament.
BYU will travel to South Carolina to play Oklahoma on Thursday, with the game time and broadcast details to be announced.