No. 13 BYU Soccer Kicks Off Big 12 Era With Win Over No. 21 Saint Louis

Aug 17, 2023, 9:45 PM

PROVO, Utah – The Big 12 era for BYU soccer arrived with a big win on South Field.

No. 13 BYU kicked off the 2023 season with a 3-2 victory over No. 21 Saint Louis. It was a historic night as it was the first time a BYU athletics team competed as a member of the Big 12.

The Big 12 era begins with a win

The victory over Saint Louis gives BYU six consecutive season-opening wins. As for the Billikens, it ends their five-year run of victories to kick off a season.

BYU was in complete control after jumping to a 2-0 lead in the first ten minutes of action. Senior forward Bella Folino started the scoring in the second minute with a goal off her right foot. Then in the 10th minute, BYU’s captain Olivia Wade scored off an assist from senior midfielder Jamie Shepherd.

Saint Louis didn’t go easy. The Billikens were the number one scoring offense in NCAA soccer last season. Four minutes after Katoa’s goal, Caroline Kelly got SLU on the board to trail 2-1.

Layton native Erin Bailey then answered for BYU, scoring the second goal of her young career with the Cougars in the 43rd minute. BYU went into the halftime break with a 3-1 lead.

Saint Louis kept making things uneasy for BYU in the second half. In the 69th minute, Billikens Hannah Larson was called for a foul, setting up a free kick for Katoa. BYU was not able to capitalize.

The Billikens stayed on the attack with four more shots on goal over the next 15 minutes. Then in the 86th minute, Emily Gaebe booted a kick through in the top left of the goal to cut BYU’s lead down to one.

What’s next for BYU Soccer

Ultimately, BYU was able to hold on to the victory after a tough battle with the Billikens, who appear to be one of the top teams in the Atlantic-10 Conference again this season.

BYU will be back in action this Saturday when they host Cal State Fullerton at 7 p.m. on ESPN+.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on Twitter/X and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.

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No. 13 BYU Soccer Kicks Off Big 12 Era With Win Over No. 21 Saint Louis