BYU soccer gets some revenge as NCAA tournament begins

The sixth-ranked Cougars took care of business against in-state rival Utah State and will next host USC.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Head coach Jennifer Rockwood during a BYU soccer practice in Provo on Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023.

The No. 6 BYU Cougars got their revenge and the win they needed to move on in the NCAA women’s soccer tournament, beating Utah State 2-0 on Friday night.

The Aggies shocked the Cougars, then the No. 1 team in the country, in Logan during the regular season. But there was no beating BYU on its home turf as the two in-state rivals battled in the tournament’s first round.

“You know this was a tough one. We felt it was a tough draw to play a team like Utah State,” BYU coach Jennifer Rockwood said. “They are a fantastic team and gave us a good run at it. But proud of these girls, proud of our seniors and proud of this team to come out the way they did.”

Senior defender Kendell Petersen opened the scoring with a low strike to the near post in the 10th minute. It was the Northridge High product’s second goal of the season.

In the second half, senior midfielder Olivia Wade-Katoa pinged the crossbar from the top of the box. As it ricocheted downward, the ball hit the back of the Aggies’ keeper and into the back of the net. It was Wade-Katoa’s 11th goal of the season.

BYU has now beaten Utah State in 14 of the team’s 17 meetings all time.

“When you get to this point the most important thing is to get the result and we didn’t get it today, but I’m really proud of the way our team fought,” Utah State head coach Manny Martins said. “We had some really great moments then we had some moments where we fell short, and obviously against a great team you get punished.”

The Cougars will host Southern California in the tournament’s second round.