BYU is headed back to the big dance — its seventh trip in the last eight years.
The Cougars, who finished second in the West Coast Conference, received a No. 12 seed and first-round bye. BYU (11-3-1) will await the winner of Virginia and SIUE.
The entire tournament will take place in North Carolina.
BYU coach Jennifer Rockwood said the team is excited to get back to the tournament, and even experienced some nerves Monday morning as they waited to hear their name called after failing to get an automatic bid.
“I’m really excited about our seeding and bracket, and really looking forward to preparing to play our first game May 1,” Rockwood, who’s been at the helm of BYU soccer since 1995, said. “It’s ben an extraordinary year for us — lots of ups and downs — but our team has been very resilient and I think we continue to improve, especially from our very beginning, our first few games.”
In the last tournament, in 2019, BYU made its third-ever trip to the quarterfinals. The Cougars fell to then-top-seeded Stanford, who went on to win the title.
This year, the Cougars have outscored opponents 47-17 and have nine players who have scored at least once this season. BYU has four athletes who have scored more than five goals this year, led by star midfielder Mikayla Colohan (11).
Before the 2020-21 season started, Colohan was drafted into the NWSL and selected by the Orlando Pride. Colohan opted to finish her collegiate career before reporting to Orlando.
The Cougars haven’t lost a match since March 13, when they dropped a close contest to Santa Clara, 2-1.
“We’re playing some great soccer right now and excited to see how good we can be,” Rockwood said.