LAS VEGAS — The Utah soccer team has never beaten BYU in women's soccer, but the Utes will get one more chance this season. Utah advanced to Saturday's MWC final with a 2-1 victory over San Diego State, while the Cougars qualified with an 8-1 thrashing of Air Force.
The championship game begins at noon at Peter Johann Memorial Field. BYU beat Utah 5-2 earlier this season.
Second-seeded Utah made its way to the finals for the first time in school history on two second-half goals by sophomores Jen Williams and Katie Tate.
After a first half that somehow ended scoreless, with both teams missing shots off the crossbar and post, Williams notched her second goal of the season at 61:52 on a corner kick from Shauna Gurr.
Tate gave Utah a 2-0 advantage six minutes later with a goal off another Gurr pass. It was Tate's 12th goal of the year, and Gurr's fourth assist in the tournament. Kim Rogers headed in a loose ball for the Aztecs at 70:58, but Utah's goalkeeper, sophomore Courtney Hills, and the Ute defense preserved the win.
Hills had eight saves, including a save in the last 15 seconds when SDSU made a late charge to try and force overtime.
BYU 8, AIR FORCE 1: The-ninth ranked Cougars score a MWC championship record eight goals in cruising past the Falcons.
BYU had a comfortable 5-0 advantage at the break after scoring four goals in a 10 minute span. Sarah Reading and Michelle Jensen Peterson each scored two goals, while Kim Lowe, Janet Jensen, Staci Reynolds and Lydia Ojuka each scored once in the victory.
Air Force's Beth Boyer scored the lone Falcon goal on a free kick from from 30 yards out to avoid the Cougar shutout with just seven minutes left in the contest.
"This was a great game, a total team effort," said BYU coach Jennifer Rockwood. "We had some great finishes and our midfielders did a great job for us."