BYU’s Come-From-Behind Magic Falters in 2-0 Loss to Stanford in National Semifinals

BYU and Stanford play in the semifinals of the NCAA women’s soccer tournament on Friday, December 1, 2023, in Cary, North Carolina. Stanford won 2-0. | BYU Photo

BYU women’s soccer team showed resilience and a fighting spirit in their game against Stanford during the NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament semifinals in North Carolina, despite facing a 2-0 defeat.

BYU Coach Jennifer Rockwood expressed her pride in the team’s performance, stating, “We fought hard. It didn’t go our way, but I think we can walk away with our heads held pretty high. We played really well tonight.”

Aside from the first four minutes, the Cougars (20-3-3) dominated the match, but those first four minutes were all that it took for Stanford (20-0-4) to take control and pack the box defensively against the highest-scoring team in the country.

While facing a setback in the opening minutes, the Cougars put up a commendable performance, securing 20 shots against the Cardinal’s defense, the most allowed by Stanford all season. Despite their relentless efforts, BYU could not overcome Stanford’s defensive strategy, ending their chances of advancing to the championship match.

Stanford’s Allie Montoya and Maya Doms secured early goals, establishing a defensive prowess that the Cougars struggled to penetrate. Despite opportunities, including a disallowed goal, BYU could not find the breakthrough against a formidable Stanford team.

Coach Rockwood commented, “We thought we had (a goal) in the first half. That would have made a big difference going into the second half in how they would have had to play. They kinda boxed it in a little bit, which you do when you are up a couple goals. It just didn’t fall our way tonight.”

Despite an admirable season, the Cougars expressed pride in their teamwork and resolve. In the face of defeat, the team looks to the future, aiming to inspire the next generation of Cougars and continue their legacy of spirited, competitive soccer at BYU.


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