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BYU women advance in NCAA soccer tourney with 5-1 victory over Boise State

(Photo courtesy of BYU Athletics) BYU's Makayla Colohan dribbles the ball upfield during a recent Cougar women's soccer game.

Provo • Four minutes was all that was really needed to set up what ended up being BYU’s first postseason win since 2016.

No.-2 seeded BYU and Boise State scored a combined three goals in less than four minutes of the first half, but the Cougars had the 2-1 edge over the Broncos. BYU only continued to add to its score in the second half while not allowing Boise State another goal on its way to a 5-1 win on Friday night in front of 3,682 fans at South Field.

BYU will next host Louisville, which bested Lipscomb 1-0 to advance, Thursday at 6 p.m.

This is the Cougars' first postseason win since hosting the first three rounds in 2016.

BYU coach Jennifer Rockwood said the team worked hard to be able to host a postseason game, and it paid off with a great crowd and environment.

"Especially our second half, our girls really came alive and put a lot of pressure on Boise State," Rockwood said. "I'm really pleased with the way we finished up the game and excited to move on."

Cameron Tucker got the scoring started in the 19th minute after a corner kick by SaraJayne Affleck led to a header by Jamie Shepard. Right in front of Boise State keeper Sydney Smith, Tucker got a touch on the ball to prevent the save and score.

Just over a minute later, Tucker got her second goal of the night from 15 yards out thanks to an assist by Elise Flake.

The Broncos responded two minutes later with a header goal from Emily Curry from the center of the box.

By the end of the half, BYU outshot Boise State 9-4 (6-2 on goal) and had five corner kicks while the Broncos had none.

Boise State coach Jim Thomas believed that if his team could hold BYU scoreless in the first 10 minutes of the second half, the Broncos could have a chance to rally.

But BYU didn't let up.

"With our determination and what we talked about at halftime, we were all on fire and we wanted to go out there and show what we could do," midfielder Lizzy Braby said. "And we did that."

The Cougars came out fast at the start of the second half, wanting to pull away, with a shot from Mikayla Colohan 18 seconds in, but Smith came up with her fifth save of the night.

BYU got the added insurance goal it was looking for in the 54th minute — just within Thomas’ 10-minute mark — after Braby moved up the right side and crossed over to Shepard, who got a one-touch shot from just outside of the box. It was Shepard’s second goal of the season.

The Cougars padded their lead with a long header from Affleck and left-footed shot from Flake in the 64th and 67th minutes, respectively.

"We’ve been working so hard all season to get here and to keep on going, Tucker said. “So, just to get this win was really exciting and rewarding and we’re anxious to continue to win.”

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