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BYU Advances To NCAA Sweet 16 By Upsetting Stanford On Penalty Kicks

Nov 17, 2022, 7:34 PM
BYU Soccer, NCAA Tournament...
BYU women's soccer defeated Stanford in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)
(Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – It took three years, but BYU soccer got revenge against Stanford. On Thursday, 6-seed BYU took down the 3-seed Cardinal on penalty kicks, punching BYU’s ticket to the NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament Sweet 16.

In 2019, Stanford took down an undefeated BYU squad in the Elite 8. Sweet revenge for a BYU team now heading to the NCAA’s Sweet 16.

The win didn’t come easy. It took 110 minutes of action, then a shootout, to get the win. BYU was a perfect five-for-five on their kicks. Ellie Maughan, who was part of that 2019 team that lost to the Cardinal in the Elite Eight, booted the game-winning shot in the back of the net.

Ellie Maughan delivers the game-winner for BYU Soccer

Before Maughan’s game-winner, BYU needed a save. They got it from an unlikely source. True freshman Taygan Sill stepped in for Savanna Mason and stopped an Elise Evans attempt from Stanford to open the door for BYU to pull off the upset.

“She’s a great shot blocker,” Maughan said to the BYU Sports Network on Sill’s performance in the shootout. “I mean, my heart goes out to her. She is a freshman and she really stepped up to the plate. I mean, there’s not much more you can ask her to do than that. She blocked a shot, and that’s exactly what we needed to take us on to the next round.”

The win for BYU advances the Cougars to the third round of the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in the last seven years.

“What a fantastic game, a bit of a nail-biter, ” BYU coach Jennifer Rockwood said on the BYU Sports Network postgame. “Both teams had plenty of opportunities to go ahead in the game, and we did what we needed to do to hold on and go into PKs. Super proud of the girls for just coming up big. I mean, that’s a lot of pressure. We’ve had a lot of PKs in the NCAA Tournament over the years. So I’m just really proud of how they just stepped up and got the job done.”

Next up for BYU: North Carolina in Chapel Hill

BYU will now face the host team, North Carolina, on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. (MT) in Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels defeated Georgia 3-1 in the second round on Thursday.

BYU and North Carolina squared off against one another in an exhibition match back in August. A match that Carolina dominated from start to finish, winning 2-0. But BYU is a different team since that setback to open the year in the exhibition phase.

A chance to go to the Elite 8 will be on the line Saturday morning.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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