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No. 1 BYU Takes Down USC, Advances To NCAA Soccer Tournament Sweet 16

Nov 16, 2023, 9:40 PM | Updated: 9:56 pm

PROVO, Utah – BYU women’s soccer survives and advances in front of a sold-out crowd at South Field.

No. 1-seed BYU took down 8-seed USC 1-0 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The victory sends BYU to the Sweet 16 to face Michigan State on Saturday at 6 p.m. (MT) at South Field.

Scoreless tie in the first half

The first 45 minutes were a high-energy match, with both teams producing eight shots despite issues with the field conditions.

South Field had some wet conditions that caused players to slip.

It had the look of what BYU’s football team was dealing with last Saturday at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

USC’s defense gave BYU’s high-powered offense struggles as the No. 1-seed Cougars went into the half with a rare 0-0 tie.

BYU couldn’t connect on the opportunities against the stingy USC defense.

In the 18th minute, Brecken Mozingo had a shot attempt but couldn’t square up the kick.

In the match, BYU was in the Top 25 nationally in corner kicks. They had four in the first half but couldn’t capitalize. USC had two.

BYU Women’s Soccer goes on top in the second half

The second half opened with a delay as the smoke machines on both ends of the field created a smoky pitch. Officials waited for it to clear up before resuming play.

It was a physical match as sophomore defender Izzi Stratton was called for a yellow card in the 54th minute for throwing down USC’s Brooklyn Courtnall. Then Olivia Smith-Griffitts had a tackle on Simone Jackson that caused USC coaches to want a foul called. No whistle was blown as it was a play-on situation.

The momentum was building for BYU as they began to take hold of the match.

BYU’s offense was chasing a goal in the second half in front of the student section, The ROC.

Brecken Mozingo had a loose ball opportunity but couldn’t get a clean look on the goal as the Trojans cleared it out. But minutes later, in the 58th minute, Bella Folino broke the scoreless drought and put BYU on the board from an assist by Mozingo.

BYU’s defense then kept USC in check for the rest of the half, as the Trojans couldn’t come up with the equalizer.

The Trojans did have a few close calls to keep BYU on the edge of their seat. In the 78th minute, USC had a header that barely went over the goal post.

Then in the final minute of action, USC’s Aaliyah Farmer attempted a shot that barely went over the crossbar. Farmer’s attempt not going through sealed the victory for BYU to advance to its third consecutive Sweet 16.

BYU is now 25-19-7 all-time in NCAA Tournament matches.

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 Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.

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No. 1 BYU Takes Down USC, Advances To NCAA Soccer Tournament Sweet 16