Colorado eliminates No. 15 BYU again
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."
Cougars paired with Colorado in NCAA First Round
PROVO, Utah – No. 15 BYU women's soccer will travel to Colorado on Saturday, November 15 at 1 p.m. MT in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The game will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Network in the Mountain and Arizona regions and can be streamed on the Pac-12 Network's site.
The Cougars (13-4-3, 7-1-1) finished the regular season with a 3-2 loss to Pepperdine which snapped a 13-game unbeaten streak and a 15-game conference unbeaten streak dating back to last year.
Ashley Hatch netted her 18th goal of the season on Saturday in Malibu, while Michele Murphy had her third career multi-assist game. Hatch is sixth in the nation in goals and eighth in points, while the BYU offense is 18th in the nation.
The Buffaloes (13-6-1, 6-4-1) finished third in the Pac-12, but were as close to 10th as to second in the points standings. Colorado enters the postseason on a three-game win streak. The Buffaloes eliminated BYU from the NCAA tournament last season in a 2-1 second round victory in Tallahassee, Florida. Colorado scored two goals in the first half and BYU was only able to claw one back in the second.
The winner on Saturday will face the winner of Friday's North Carolina - South Dakota State game the following week in the second round.
This is the 16th appearance in the NCAA tournament for BYU and third straight dating back to 2012. BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood is 12-12-5 all-time in NCAA games and is 3-2-1 since 2012, both losses have come against Colorado and North Carolina.
This is the sixth straight season where the West Coast Conference has had three teams make the NCAA tournament with Pepperdine and San Diego making the field as at-large berths.
Tickets can be purchased online at cubuffs.com, by calling 303-49-BUFFS or at the gate on Saturday. Admission for adults is $7, students, seniors (55+) and children (under 12) can get in for $3 and tickets for children (5 years and younger) are $1 each.