PROVO, Utah – Senior Carlee Payne Holmoe scored on a penalty kick with 44 seconds left in the game to give the No. 1 seed BYU women's soccer team a 1-0 victory over Auburn Friday night at home in the Second Round of the NCAA tournament. With the win, the Cougars advance to the Sweet 16 to play No. 4 seed Marquette this Saturday, Nov. 17, at 5 p.m MST on South Field.
This is BYU's first time back in the Sweet 16 since the 2003 campaign when the team made a run to the Elite Eight before falling to Connecticut.
“Obviously at this time of year every game gets bigger and bigger,” said head coach Jennifer Rockwood. “I’m proud of these girls; it was a tough battle tonight against a very strong defensive Auburn team. We know tonight is a very big win and we're excited to move on to the next game.”
With under a minute left in the second half, Michele Murphy held the ball near the end line by Auburn's goal. She turned to send the ball in front of the goal and was fouled just inside the box, resulting in the PK for Holmoe.
“Of course I had nerves, but I was confident that I could put the ball where I wanted it,” Holmoe said. “It was one of those moments in my career that I will never forget.”
The first half was a defensive battle with both teams registering single-digits shots. Rachel Manning and Jessica Ringwood both had two shots as the Cougars tallied six in the half, placing four on goal. The Tigers were limited to only three shots in the half, placing one on frame.
BYU had its best chance at goal about halfway through the first half when Ringwood sent a volley from the top of the box that Auburn's goalie punched away. The Cougars went into halftime scoreless for just the sixth time this season.
After the break, BYU put the pressure on and kept the ball on its attacking end. The Cougars registered 11 shots in the half, putting six of them on goal, while holding the Tigers to just two in the second 45 minutes.
“Defensively we played really solid and didn’t allow Auburn to turn on us,” Rockwood said. “We knew they were a great counter-attack team so we wanted to make sure that we didn’t let their counters go and I thought our back line did a great job of that tonight.”
BYU's game on Saturday against Marquette will be broadcast live on BYUtv and streamed live online on byutvsports.com.
Addition Quotes: BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood
"I thought we came out really strong in the second half and all of our girls put forth great effort. I can't imagine the pressure Carlee (Payne Holmoe) felt when she stepped up to take that penalty kick but she's been working on those every single day this fall. She stays after practice to work on those so we're fortunate she had the opportunity to put that away."
"We talked at halftime about that last pass before taking a shot. We were doing all the things we had talked about before the game, things that had made us successful all year, but we were just a little bit off stride. We didn't get as many shots off as we typically do but credit goes to the girls for not getting frustrated and for continuting to work."
"With this team, one thing that is different from teams in the past, is that this team believes. They have found everyway possible to score this year and each time someone else has stepped up. We have found ways to win games and that's what special teams do. We want people to chase us. These girls do a great job of continually moving the ball and I think everyone has such great confidence that those goals could come from anyone at any time."
NCAA 2nd & 3rd rounds stay in Provo
PROVO, Utah - The No. 1 seeded BYU women's soccer team will host the Second and Third Rounds of the 2012 NCAA Tournament this week on South Field. As part of the Second Round, the Cougars will host the Auburn Tigers this Thursday at 6 p.m. MST live on BYUtv and online at byutvsports.com.
The other Second Round game to be played on South Field will be between No. 4 seed Marquette and Princeton on Thursday at 3 p.m. MST.
The winners of each game will advance to play in the Third Round on Saturday, Nov. 17, at 5 p.m. MST.
The Cougars received a No. 2 ranking in the final NSCAA poll and are riding a 19-1-1 season record with a .929 W-L-T percentage that is the best the team has had, at this point in the season, since the 1996 campaign when the team went 22-1 for a .957 W-L-T percentage. The current W-L-T percentage is also the second best among other NCAA Division I soccer programs.
BYU is led by senior Jessica Ringwood's nine goals and 77 shots on the year, and Carlee Payne Holmoe's nine assists. The Cougars are out-scoring their opponents 49-11 and holding their opponents to an average of just 7.8 shots per game.
After winning outright the 2012 West Coast Conference championship, BYU was the automatic qualifier and received a No. 1 seed in this year's College Cup. It drew Utah State in the First Round and defeated them 2-1 in Provo last Saturday.
The Tigers travel to Provo with a 13-10-1 overall record and a very good First Round win over Washington under their belts. On the road against Washington, Auburn’s Tori Ball and Mary Nicholson each tallied a goal to give the Tigers the 2-1 victory.
Auburn fell to Florida in the SEC Tournament Championship game but received an at-large bid to this year’s postseason College Cup. The invite is the team’s seventh-straight.
Tatiana Coleman leads the squad with nine goals and nine assists on the year.
Thursday's game will be the first-ever meeting between the Tigers and Cougars.
BYU's game on Thursday against Auburn will be live on BYUtv and streamed online for free at byutvsports.com/gameday. Gametracker is available and fans can also follow the BYU women's soccer Twitter page for updates. Auburn radio will also be broadcasting the game live.
All-session tickets can be purchased now through BYUtickets.com or by calling 801-422-BYU1. Single-game tickets are available on the day of the game only.