BYU takes early lead but falters in second half and loses 2-1 to TCU in NCAA women’s soccer tournament

BYU defeats Utah 3-2 in women's soccer Friday, Sept. 7. Photo courtesy of BYU

Fort Worth, Texas • BYU’s return to the NCAA women’s soccer tournament didn’t last long.

The Cougars started fast, but couldn’t sustain their early momentum and fell 2-1 to TCU in a first-round game Friday night at Garvey-Rosenthal Soccer Stadium.

West Coast Conference champion BYU, which was back in the tournament after a one-year absence, finished the season with a 13-5-1 record. TCU, which finished in a tie for third in the Big 12, improved to 13-4-3.

It was the Horned Frogs’ first-ever NCAA tournament win and first time they’ve downed BYU in 10 tries dating back to when both schools were in the Mountain West Conference.

Elise Flake put the Cougars on the board midway through the first half and the Cougars led 1-0 at the break.

But TCU scored twice in the second half, getting goals from Messiah Bright and Yazmeen Ryan.

The Cougars had a good good chance in the 67th minute, but Olivia Wade’s shot was turned away by TCU goalkeeper Emily Alvarado, who made a diving save. She finished with six saves.

The Cougars controlled ball possession for much of the first half and got three good looks early from Rachel Lyman, Madie Gates and Mikayla Colohan but could not score.

Gates is BYU’s only senior, so the Cougars are expected to be strong again next year. They have been to the NCAA tournament 19 times in their 24 seasons as a varsity program.

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