BYU women’s soccer: Seven minutes tell the story in the Cougars’ 4-0 win over Louisville
BYU forward Elise Flake set off a dominating seven-minute stretch for the Cougars that all but buried Louisville on Thursday.
PROVO — BYU played 90 minutes of soccer on Thursday to achieve a 4-0 win over Louisville in the second round of the NCAA tournament, although the story of the match was told in a stretch just under seven minutes long.
Locked in a scoreless tie despite the Cougars dominating possession, top goal-scorer Elise Flake worked herself free to receive a perfectly placed pass from Cameron Tucker. Flake, as she’d accomplished 19 times prior to Thursday’s match, knew exactly what to do, wasting no time to send in a ball that finally found the back of the net, giving the Cougars a 1-0 lead at the 61:15 mark.
“It was perfect, and perfect timing for her,” Flake said. “I was just in the right spot.”
Flake’s short description sort of exemplified her play on the pitch, leading out what turned into as a completely dominating seven-minute stretch for the Cougars.
Just over a minute after scoring her initial goal, Flake worked herself free down the field before sending in a short cross to Mikayla Colohan just before heading out-of-bounds. Colohan touched the ball past the goalie for a 2-0 lead at the 62:25 mark, with the Cougars grabbing just about all the match’s momentum at that stage.
But the Cougars weren’t finished.
Playing up about five minutes following Colohan’s goal was defender Rachel Bingham Lyman, who sent in a perfect cross to Tucker that culminated into a third goal in what proved as dominating of a seven minute stretch as the Cougars have compiled all season.
“It just kind of opened up for us,” Flake summed up succinctly.
The match’s first 45 minutes worked in contrast to the Cougars’ seven-minute explosion, with the two teams missing out on scoring opportunities before a ball sent in by Louisville in the 41st minute bounced off the crossbar, which served as a wakeup call.
The Cougars went into the half a bit flustered, yet confident in their ability to turn things around.
“We just reminded the team at halftime that we’re a low-scoring team and that we need to go forward and we like those touches in the box,” BYU coach Jennifer Rockwood said. “We just need to drive the ball forward and have confidence in what we’ve been doing all season long. And sure enough, we get Elise the ball and she goes and scores the game-winning goal.”
As for the rest of the team’s play, it all came together in furious fashion, much like Rockwood expects.
“Tonight it showed the maturity of our team,” Rockwood said. “Things hadn’t been going the way we were used to and we didn’t get too frustrated. We fought through it and we were able to turn it around in the second half.”
Wrapping up the scoring for BYU was Colohan scoring on a penalty kick with just over eight minutes left for the final 4-0 score.
With the win, BYU advances to the third round where it will host North Carolina State on Saturday night at South Field, giving players one final chance to play at home.
“It’s super exciting,” Colohan said. “We love the crowd that we get here. It’s super fun to play in front of them. ... It definitely helps our energy.”