Historic season for women’s soccer comes to an end 

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BYU shuts out the Wolverines in the first round of the NCAA tournament

Photos courtesy of @kylesportsbias

The Utah Valley University women’s soccer team saw their first trip to the NCAA Tournament end quickly in a 1-0 opening round loss to Brigham Young University on Saturday afternoon.WSOC-vs-BYU2

“I’m very proud of my team,” UVU head coach Brent Anderson said. “They handled the pressure well and were very mature. They’ve worked very hard and bought into our program.  I’m proud of the effort not just given today, but the entire season as well.”

From the opening whistle, BYU controlled possession of the ball and were in UVU’s half of the field most of the game. The Cougars looked dangerous going forward and created the most scoring opportunities. The Wolverines defense thwarted them off until the 20th minute when Cougar forward Nadia Gomes collected a pass from the right wing at the top of the box, and played a through ball to midfielder Elena Medeiros who fired her shot with her first touch to the bottom left corner.

“I was proud of the team of the way we came out in the first half with a lot of energy,” UVU goalkeeper Jessica Duffin said. “To reiterate, we got tired in the second half and slowed down, but I couldn’t be prouder of this team. The team gave everything they had, and as a senior and a captain, I couldn’t have asked for more.”

After conceding the goal, UVU settled into the game and started to go forward and create scoring opportunities. The most dangerous of those opportunities came in the 26th minute when Wolverine midfielder Kali Stubbs was played through on the right side of the field and knocked down by a BYU defender. UVU captain Kasandra Anderson took the free kick and fired a hard, low shot that was deflected by the BYU defense.

The second half was more of the same. BYU controlled the possession and kept the pressure on the UVU defense.  Wolverine goalkeeper Jessica Duffin came up big in the 65th minute by making a diving save to her right to keep the score at 1-0. While the UVU defense held up in the second half by not conceding another goal, the Wolverines couldn’t sustain any real pressure in BYU’s half of the field and get the equalizer.  WSOCvsBYU-8942-Edit

“We came out energetic,” Anderson said. “It was fun and we wanted to focus on enjoying the moment. We played pretty well in the first half, but we got fatigued in the second half.”

It might not have been the end the Wolverines were looking for but Coach Anderson knows that making the NCAA tournament for the first time in the program’s history is a major step forward.

“It will definitely help us on the recruiting trail,” Anderson said. “We’ve already received more phone calls from current prospects. Making the NCAA tournament has raised the profile of our program.”