PROVO, Utah – The No. 1 seed BYU women’s soccer team defeated the No. 4 seed Marquette Golden Eagles 6-5 on penalty kicks after going scoreless through regulation and two overtime periods in front of a crowd of 3,193 at South Field Saturday night to advance to the 2012 NCAA Tournament Elite Eight.
This is BYU's first time back in the Elite Eight since the 2003 season and it's the furthest a BYU team has been in the NCAA Tournament in program history.
Freshmen Paige Hunt, Michele Murphy and Marissa Nimmer, sophomores Jaiden Thornock and Kayla Varner, and senior Cami Jensen each scored penalty kicks to help the Cougars seal the victory.
“This was a huge game for us," said BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood. "It was a battle with lots of emotion. Our fans create such an awesome atmosphere here and I’m so excited for Kayla, she really came through for us tonight by hitting that penalty kick to win the game.”
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Marquette scored the first penalty kick but after two amazing saves from BYU goalkeeper Erica Owens and the game-winning penalty kick from Varner, BYU took the 6-5 edge and victory.
The Cougars started the game aggressively with two shots in the first four minutes of play. Ringwood led the team with four shots in the half and junior Cloee Colohan had three more.
“At the beginning of our game, we were able to do everything we talked about in the huddle," Rockwood said. "Marquette came out in the second half and controlled things a bit but Erica (Owens) and our defense really stepped up.”
In the second half, Marquette dominated offensively with a 9-4 shot advantage but with the score still at 0-0, the teams entered overtime.
This was the third overtime session for the Cougars this season.
BYU had two shots and Marquette had one in the first overtime but no players found the back of the net.
Both teams had opportunities in the second overtime to score. With just under eight minutes left, Marquette’s goalkeeper mishandled the ball while she was on the edge of the box and senior Jessica Ringwood gained possession but the Cougars weren't able to capitalize.
A few minutes later, BYU was called for a foul just outside the goal box with 5:20 to play but a head shot by the Golden Eagles went wide right and the 0-0 tie sent the teams into a shootout.
It was the fourth time for BYU that a NCAA Tournament game has been decided by penalty kicks with the Cougars going 1-3 in those last four instances.
Next Friday, the Cougars will host the winner of the game between No. 2 seed North Carolina and No. 3 seed Baylor to be played tomorrow at 1 p.m. EST.
Sweet Sixteen in Provo against Marquette
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PROVO, Utah - After defeating Auburn 1-0 in dramatic fashion, the No. 1 seed BYU women's soccer team will continue its run through the 2012 NCAA Tournament this Saturday when they host No. 4 seed Marquette at 5 p.m. MST in the Sweet Sixteen. The game will be broadcast live on BYUtv and online for free at byutvsports.com/gameday.
This is BYU's first time back in the Sweet 16, third in program history, since the 2003 campaign when the team made a run to the Elite Eight before falling to Connecticut.
Senior Carlee Payne Holmoe scored on a penalty kick with just 44 seconds left in the game against Auburn to advance the Cougars. BYU is now 20-1-1 on the year and are currently riding a 19-game unbeaten streak, a program record for unbeaten games in a row.
The Cougars received a No. 2 ranking in the final NSCAA poll, its highest ever in program history, and currently have a .932 W-L-T percentage that is the best the team has had, at this point in the season, since the 1996 campaign when they went 22-1 for a .957 percentage. The current W-L-T percentage is also the second best among other NCAA Division I soccer programs.
After winning outright the 2012 West Coast Conference championship, BYU was the automatic qualifier and drew Utah State in the First Round. They defeated the Aggies 2-1 in Provo last Saturday.
The Golden Eagles earned themselves an automatic bid to the 2012 College Cup with the program's first-ever Big East conference championship title. As a No. 4 seed they hosted their First Round NCAA game against Illinois State and were victorious in a 3-0 final score.
For the Second Round, Marquette traveled to Provo where they defeated Princeton 3-1 and advanced to the program's third Sweet Sixteen where they'll take on No. 1 seed BYU.
Marquette is led offensively by Taylor Madigan's nine goals this season. Teammate Maegan Kelly leads with 68 shots and 13 assists. The Golden Eagles have outscored their opponents 59-13 on the year and are averaging 18.6 shots per game.
Tickets can be purchased online now at BYUtickets.com or on the day of the game.
Reserved chair - $10
Adult General Admission - $7
General Admission (w/ student ID) - $5
General Admission (w/ All-Sports Pass) - $3
Ages 2-5 (General Admission) - $1
BYU Women's Soccer