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Cougars fall in a heartbreaker to Florida State in National Championship game in PKs
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — No. 4 seed BYU women’s soccer fell to No. 1 seed Florida State in PKs in the NCAA National Championship Game to end the Cougars’ season Monday night.
“First, congratulations to Florida State on winning a National Championship. It was a great game and a great Final Four here this weekend,” said BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood. “We are grateful for the opportunity we had to play here, and I am really proud of our players and our team. We battled hard, and we have had a phenomenal year. Really proud of the way we competed tonight and the way we represented ourselves, our school and our conference. I want to thank our fans for showing up. Cougar Nation always supports us. We loved this season, and I love our girls.”
Both teams started the game strong with scoring opportunities on both sides of the field. The Cougars had an early scoring opportunity with a ball sent through the Seminoles’ defense to Cameron Tucker by Mikayla Colohan. Tucker found the back of the net with her shot and sent BYU fans into a frenzy, only to have the goal called back because of an offside.
The Florida State offense was able to get behind the Cougar defense to fire off a few quick shots within the first 10 minutes of regulation. The Seminoles were awarded a corner kick in the 30th minute, which BYU goalkeeper Cassidy Smith was able to punch out.
The Cougars gained momentum and sent the ball down the field to the feet of forward Rachel McCarthy, whose shot was blocked in the box by the Seminole defense.
Colohan was taken down at midfield in the 31st minute resulting in a yellow card on Florida State’s Jaelin Howell. Colohan was carried off the field and came out of the game for the remainder of the half as Ellie Maughan subbed in.
Both BYU and Florida State played strong defense in the first half. The Cougars only had three shots and the Seminoles had two.
The Cougars and Seminoles went into the locker room scoreless at the half.
Both teams continued to find scoring opportunities within the first five minutes of the second half.
The Cougars took early control of the half with defender Grace Johnson making strong plays on both sides of the ball with a shot on goal and several defensive stops. The Seminoles did not back down as they worked to get behind the BYU defense forcing a few saves by Smith.
Both teams continued to play aggressively, in what was a physical matchup, with neither team being able to get any finishes on goal.
In the 80th minute, BYU freshman defender Olivia Smith took the ball down the field and crossed it for a shot by Jamie Shepherd that barely went over the crossbar.
BYU was awarded a free kick in the 84th minute of the game, which gave the Cougars some forward momentum. As the second half came to a close, BYU put on the pressure up top, forcing some hard clears by the Seminole defense.
In the 88th minute, Florida State was awarded a corner kick where BYU's Johnson made a game-saving save off of her face and the ball was cleared out of the box.
Regulation time ended with the teams still tied at zero, sending the Cougars into overtime for the second time in the College Cup. This is the third straight year the National Championship final game went into overtime.
First Overtime Period
BYU started the first overtime period with a corner attempt that went off the head of Colohan into the hands of Seminole goalkeeper, Cristina Roque. Florida State answered back with a corner of its own, easily cleared by the BYU defense.
Both teams played aggressive defense the rest of the first 10-minute overtime period, leaving little room for offensive opportunities on goal. Still at zeros, the game went into a second overtime period.
Second Overtime Period
The Seminoles came into the second overtime period with a hard offensive push. BYU’s defense was able to clear the ball out of the back, but Florida State kept up their pressure.
Florida State got behind the Cougar defense in the 105th minute and forward Jenna Nighswonger took a shot at the top of the 18, which was saved by Smith. The Seminoles were awarded with a corner kick in the 108th minute of the game, which curved in toward the goal, barely punched out by Smith.
The Cougars gained the momentum and made an aggressive play across the face of the goal, which was barely out of reach for Colohan. Unable to finish, BYU and Florida State went into penalty kicks after finishing 110 minutes of play still tied at zero.
Both teams capitalized on their first attempts, but two saves by Roque put the Seminoles up by one. A save by Smith and a goal by Olivia Wade put the Cougars back on the board.
In the end, it was not enough for the Cougars, as the Seminoles scores on their final attempt and Florida State won the PKs 4-3 and became National Champions for the fourth time in program history.
Coach Jennifer Rockwood
"These girls had a commitment from the beginning of the season to do something that no other BYU soccer team has done and they lived up to that. Our seniors wanted to take the program where it had never been and they have done that."
"Representing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is something we are all extremely proud of. We are all members of the Church and have a very high standard that we take very seriously. It is certainly an honor and something we take a lot of pride in."
"It has been an incredible season. I am so proud of my teammates and I am glad I had the opportunity to play alongside each of them and play for Coach Jen because she is amazing and shapes us all to be not only incredible soccer players, but better people and that is what matters."
"Tonight was a battle and playing against Florida State is always going to be tough. They have some great players and play really great soccer. I was proud of the way we battled and defended hard tonight."
"I think our team did great tonight. We were hustling and working really well on defense and offense. I am so proud of everyone and how we played this whole year and this tournament."
BYU set to play No. 1 seed Florida State in the National Championship game
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — No. 4 seed BYU women's soccer faces No. 1 seed Florida State on Monday, Dec. 6 at Stevens Stadium for the NCAA Championship in what is BYU's first appearance in the NCAA College Cup finals.
Monday's matchup is scheduled for 5 p.m. PST on ESPNU. The game will also be carried live on the BYU Sports Network — BYU Cougars App and byucougars.com/liveradio as well as BYU Radio SiriusXM/BYU Radio app.
LAST TIME ON THE FIELD. BYU advanced in penalty kicks (3-2) after 110 minutes of scoreless play against West Coast Conference foe Santa Clara in the semifinals of the NCAA College Cup Friday night at a sold-out Stevens Stadium. BYU's victory in penalty kicks snapped the defending national champions nine-game win streak in the NCAA Tournament. The Cougars failed to convert on its first two attempts, but a conversion by Brecken Mozingo, followed by a key save by Cassidy Smith over All-American Kelsey Turnbow, turned the tide back into BYU's favor. Olivia Wade had the game-winning penalty kick, with Santa Clara's Ellie Glenn's shot hit off the right post to end the match. BYU has scored 77 goals this season, with 23 of them occurring in the first 15 minutes of its games.
BYU ALL-AMERICANS. Seniors Mikayla Colohan and Cameron Tucker were named All-Americans last week, with Colohan selected to the first team and Tucker selected to the third team. Colohan collected her fourth United Soccer Coaches All-American award and has the most first-team honors in BYU women’s soccer history. She has the second-most goals in BYU women's soccer history with 53, and sits behind BYU legend Shauna Rohbock's record of 94 goals from 1995-1998. Tucker received All-American honors for the first time in her career. Throughout her career at BYU, Tucker has 43 goals, 29 assists and 115 points. She is in sixth place in all-time goals for BYU and eighth in assists.
No. 4 BYU (17-4-2, 8-1-0 WCC) vs Florida State (21-1-2, 7-1-2 ACC)
- Monday, Dec. 5 at 5 p.m. PST at Stevens Stadium
- TV: ESPNU
- TV talent: Jenn Hildreth and Julie Foudy
- Radio: BYU Radio SiriusXM/BYU Radio app
- Radio: BYU Sports Network/BYU Cougars App/107.9 FM
- Radio play-by-play: Greg Wrubell
THE SEMINOLES. Florida State has advanced to its third National Championship in the last four years. Last season could have made three national titles in a row, but Florida State fell to Santa Clara in penalty kicks (4-1) after a 1-1 tie through regulation in the NCAA College Cup finals. Florida State's only loss of the 2021 season came from No. 6 Duke, with the Blue Devils scoring the game-winning goal in the 27th minute. Earlier in the season, Florida State came to a draw with No. 1 Virginia on Oct. 28 , then beat the Cavaliers later in the season, 1-0 in the ACC Tournament Championship Game on Nov. 7. BYU also defeated Virginia in the post season, winning 1-0 in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Florida State has outscored its opponents 18-3 in the NCAA Tournament over the last two seasons, including seven shutouts. The Seminoles have three All-Americans on their current roster, with seniors Emily Madril and Jaelin Howell recently named to the first-team and Yujie Zhao named to the second-team.
COUGARS VS. SEMINOLES. BYU and Florida State will meet each other for the first time in both of the programs' history. BYU has the nation's best scoring offense, averaging 3.50 goals per game, with Florida State sitting in fifth place with an average of 2.83 goals per game. Colohan of BYU has the second most goals in the NCAA right now with 18, alongside is Tucker at seventh-most with 16, while Florida State's Beata Olson is tied for the 14th with 14. BYU and its head coach Jennifer Rockwood look to secure their first ever National Championship title in what is Rockwood's and BYU's 27th all-time season.