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BYU Women’s Soccer advances to NCAA National Championship

A penalty shootout win over Santa Clara gives BYU revenge and a chance at their first title.

BYU women’s soccer secured its first national championship appearance by beating WCC rival and defending national champion Santa Clara in the NCAA College Cup Semifinal on Friday night in OT.

The Cougars lost earlier this season at Santa Clara, a loss that ultimately resulted in being the conference co-champion with the Broncos. The College Cup finals were moved from the San Jose Earthquakes PayPal Park to Santa Clara’s Stevens Stadium, which meant that the Cougars would have to return to Santa Clara’s home field. The game was a sell-out in front of 7,500 fans, the overwhelming majority being Santa Clara fans despite the Cougars typically phenomenal road support.

The first half began frantically, with the play wide open and end-to-end chances for both sides. Santa Clara had several chances as well as a few chances brought back for offside calls, but were finding space behind the Cougars’ backline when hitting the Cougars on the counter. The Cougars continued pressing and tried pushing it down the throat of the Broncos defense, but couldn’t find the final touch.

The Broncos slowed the pace in the second half, but the Cougars still dominated the possession and chances. In the 90th minute, after a continuous onslaught from the Cougars the Broncos got a chance, with star forward Izzy D’Aquila heading a Kelsey Turnbow cross just wide.

The Cougars dominated the first overtime period, with a Kendall Peterson shot being pushed onto the crossbar in a game saving save by Santa Clara’s Kylie Foutch. The Cougars had more chances from Jamie Shepherd and Brecken Mozingo, but went into the break at 0-0 still.

The second overtime was slowed by the Broncos, and the Cougars best chance came on a Rachel McCarthy shot from distance that was easily handled by Foutch.

The match went into penalties, where the Cougars finally got their win, despite missing their first two penalties from Colohan and Shepherd. A clutch Cassidy Smith save turned the tide as the Cougars got the momentum in the shootout.

BYU miss (MaKayla Colohan)

Santa Clara make

BYU miss (Jamie Shepherd)

Santa Clara miss

BYU make (Brecken Mozingo)

Santa Clara miss

BYU make (Bella Folino)

Santa Clara make

BYU make (Olivia Wade)

Santa Clara miss

BYU will play Florida State for the national title Monday at 8pm ET on ESPNU.