BYU Women’s Soccer Pulls Away From MSU, Advances To Elite Eight

Nov 18, 2023, 8:12 PM | Updated: 8:12 pm

BYU Women's Soccer, NCAA Tournament, Michigan State...

Brigham Young University midfielder Jamie Shepherd (12) and Michigan State midfielder Emerson Sargeant (19) play during the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA College Women’s Soccer Tournament at South Field in Provo on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023. (Megan Nielsen, Deseret News)

(Megan Nielsen, Deseret News)

PROVO, UtahΒ – BYU women’s soccer is moving on to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.

On Saturday night, No. 1-seed BYU defeated 4-seed Michigan State 3-1 in front of another sold-out crowd at South Field.

BYU advances to its fifth Elite Eight appearance in program history. It’s the third run to the NCAA Quarterfinals in five seasons.

Here’s a recap of how the match played out on the South Field pitch.

Scoreless First Half

BYU and Michigan State women’s soccer went into the half with a scoreless tie at zero. The Cougars had 10 shots with only three on goal.

BYU had the upper hand on corner kicks with three but couldn’t capitalize on any of those attempts.

It was a physical first half, with 12 fouls being called between the two teams.

BYU Women’s Soccer pulls away in Second Half

Michigan State was on the attack early in the second half as momentum began building for the Spartans. Then, in the 52nd minute, Spartans standout Gabby Mueller booted a kick off her right foot for a goal to put Sparty in front.

BYU didn’t trail for long as they scored the equalizer three minutes later. Michigan State Celia Gaynor was given a yellow card. That set up a penalty kick for BYU’s Bella Folino, who scored the game-winner against USC and kicked it through in the bottom right of the net.

The action-packed second half didn’t stop there, as BYU’s high-powered offense stayed in attack mode. Five minutes later, BYU star Brecken Mozingo put the Cougars in front 2-1.

Mozingo then assisted BYU’s next goal on a long pass in the 80th minute to reserve Ellie Walbruch. Walbruch received the pass, made contact with a header, and knocked it in the net to pull BYU away from upset-minded Michigan State.

What’s next for BYU Women’s Soccer

BYU will face the winner of tomorrow’s North Carolina/Texas Tech matchup. Those two teams will play in Lubbock at Noon (MT). Regardless of who wins, BYU will be the host team for a chance to play in the 2023 College Cup.

Texas Tech was the regular season Big 12 champion this season. BYU faced the Red Raiders on October 5 at South Field. The two Big 12 heavyweights battled to a 2-2 tie.

North Carolina eliminated BYU last season in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. The Tar Heels program also defeated 1-seed BYU in the Elite Eight at South Field in 2012.

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 XΒ andΒ Threads: @Mitch_Harper.

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BYU Women’s Soccer Pulls Away From MSU, Advances To Elite Eight