PROVO – Behind a strong offensive performance, BYU women’s soccer moved into the second round of the NCAA tournament by routing in-state rival Weber State, 4-0, at South Field on Friday night.
“The girls have worked really hard to get here and there’s a lot on the line,” BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. “It’s win or go home, and the girls came out and accomplished a lot of the things we talked about both before the game and at halftime. Overall, I thought it was a fantastic team effort.”
Senior Colette Jepson Smith scored her fifth goal, and Erica Owens recorded her 10th shutout of the season in possibly their last game at South Field. Jaiden Thornock and Ella Johnson also had goals for the Cougars. BYU finished with 19 shots with 11 on frame, while holding Weber State to six shots.
“We really challenged our forwards at the beginning of the game and again at halftime to put tremendous pressure on Weber so they didn’t have a chance to settle,” Rockwood said. “That’s something we’ve really tried to do these last few games."
Up 1-0 in the 31st minute, the Cougars made a run into the Weber State area when Niki Fernandes set up Thornock for a shot that curled just inside the far post to put the score at 2-0.
In the 53rd minute, Jepson Smith received a pass fromMarissa Nimmer and made a good run into the box putting the ball past the keeper to the far post to give the Cougars a 3-0 lead.
After Ashley Hatch was taken down in the box in the 67th minute, Johnson scored the penalty kick putting the Cougars up 4-0. The Wildcats Kellyn Johnson was shown a red card for her tackle.
BYU's first goal came in the ninth minute after Nimmer put a corner into the box and Weber State’s goalie was unable to control the ball letting it fall backward for the own goal.
BYU takes on the winner of Denver and Colorado, which takes place Saturday afternoon. The second round will be hosted by Florida State in Tallahassee, Fla.
Spencer Shamo is a Communications major at BYU and the BYU softball SID.