Tucker's game-winner secures victory for No. 16 BYU over No. 25 Pepperdine
MALIBU, Calif. – No. 16 BYU women’s soccer defeated No. 25 Pepperdine 2-1 Saturday afternoon. It’s the Cougars’ first victory in Malibu since 2012.
“It’s always a tough place to play, and Pepperdine is a fantastic team,” said BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood. “They certainly challenged us right from the very beginning, and this is a huge win for us. It keeps our hopes alive of playing some postseason games, but we had to battle through that one.”
Pepperdine came out from the start with all the momentum and appeared to be the better team, nearly scoring within the first minutes, but both teams remained scoreless for more than half of the first period.
In the 26th minute, Mikayla Colohan sent a long pass to Cameron Tucker down the field, who then passed it to Ashton Johnson in front of the goal. Johnson one-touched the ball into the net for her first goal of the season and eighth career goal. Tucker’s assist was her seventh of the season.
Neither team would score for the remainder of the half, with Pepperdine outshooting BYU 6-4, and both teams’ goalkeepers making two saves each.
In the 60th minute, Colohan sent a pass through defenders to Tucker, as Tucker shot in the bottom right corner of the net to give BYU the 2-0 lead. The goal ended up being the game-winner. Tucker is on a five-game scoring streak, and has eight goals on the season and 27 of her career.
Pepperdine had a shimmer of hope in the 68th minute when Leyla McFarland scored on a breakaway to put BYU on edge and the score at 2-1.
The pace picked up for both teams as Tucker had an opportunity to score in the 83rd minute to put the game away with a third goal, but the shot was saved by Pepperdine’s keeper.
Cougar goalkeeper Cassidy Smith had six saves throughout the match to keep BYU on top, compared to the Wave’s three. Pepperdine also finished the match doubling the Cougar’s shot attempts with 16 to BYU’s eight.
“Toward the end of conference play and the end of the season, each of these games feels like you’re playing for a championship and for a chance to move forward,” Rockwood said. “It’s a lot of pressure, but that’s the kind of pressure we put on ourselves with each and every game.”
The Cougars will return home for senior night and their last game of the season on Saturday, April 17 to take on Portland. The game is scheduled to kick off at 1 p.m. MT and will be broadcast on BYUtv, with radio coverage on the BYU Sports Network—BYU Radio 107.9 FM, and audio play-by-play also streaming on the BYU Cougars app and at BYUCougars.com/LiveRadio. Limited fans will be in attendance.
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