Sometimes the fourth time is the charm.
It took BYU’s fourth trip in program history to the Elite Eight, but they finally made it to their first ever NCAA College Cup Semifinal after beating South Carolina 4-1 on Saturday night at South Field. The Cougars will face WCC rival Santa Clara in the semifinal on Friday.
Early in the season, few could have imagined such an achievement, as the Cougars struggled in non-conference games at the start of the season. After beating Ohio State and USC to open the season, the Cougars fell to Auburn and Arkansas in surprise defeats before drawing at Utah in a match that lacked creativity. The real shock and wake up came when Utah State came to South Field and upset BYU in their first ever win against the Cougars.
At that time, it was clear adjustments needed to be made. And the Cougars did exactly that. Since that loss, the Cougars are on a 12-1 run, having conceded just five times in that thirteen game stretch. The Cougars lone loss came at Santa Clara, who the Cougars will be facing at Santa Clara in the Semifinal.
During that stretch the Cougars also defeated 1-seed Virginia in Charlottesville in the Sweet 16 for the chance to host the Elite Eight match.
The semifinal will be no easy match for the Cougars. The Broncos are defending national champions and have given the Cougars trouble each time they’ve played. The Cougars will need to be at their best to avenge their loss earlier this season.
The Cougars throttled a South Carolina team that was underwhelming on the evening but had upset North Carolina in the first round of the tournament. Makaylie Moore and Makayla Colohan each had a brace as they scored a goal on either side of half as the Cougars won 4-1 in front of a sell-out crowd at South Field.
The semifinal will be at Santa Clara on Friday evening. On the other side of the bracket are Florida State and Rutgers who are both one seeds. If the Cougars defeat Santa Clara, they will play the following Monday for a chance at their first national championship in program history.