BYU fell in the Elite Eight in ugly fashion Friday afternoon at the hands of 1-seed Stanford, with the final score of 5-1.
The Cougars opened up strong and had three shots early in the first half, but the Cardinal took control and dominated the Cougars the rest of the match. Two goals from NCAA leading scorer Catarina Macario and two others from Kiara Pickett and Sam Tran gave Stanford the 4-0 advantage heading into the break.
Halftime came as a relief for BYU, who invited pressure into their own penalty area by attempting to possess from the backline, which led to turnovers and Stanford opportunities. BYU hadn’t allowed more than 2 goals in a match all season until this match.
The second half opened poorly for the Cougars, as a BYU own goal gave the Cardinal the 5-0 advantage. BYU wpuld create more chances in the half, with Cameron Tucker’s opportunity in the 61st minute placed it into the waiting hands of Stanford goalkeeper Lauren Rood.
Danika Serassio did get one back for the Cougars in the 64th minute off a set piece. The ball struck the crossbar and went straight doen past the line, and a decision by the assistant referee allowed the goal.
Stanford was better prepared as they knew BYU’s habits and tendencies throughout the field. The Cougars looked lost for much of the match, and had no spells of possession against the Cardinal.
The loss ends BYU’s otherwise amazing season. BYU finished with a 21-1-1 record on the season, and reached the Elite Eight for the third time in program history.