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BYU soccer advances to NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16, thanks to Mikayla Colohan

The Cougars easily dispatched Alabama 4-1 behind a hat trick from the BYU senior midfielder

BYU midfielder Mikayla Colohan scored a hat trick to help BYU beat Alabama 4-1 in the NCAA tournament’s second round.
BYU midfielder Mikayla Colohan, shown here in the Cougars’ win over New Mexico in the NCAA tournament’s first round, scored a hat trick to help BYU beat Alabama 4-1 in the NCAA tournament’s second round Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, in Charlottesville, Va.
BYU photo

Mikayla Colohan’s second career hat trick came at the perfect time and carried BYU onto the next round of the NCAA soccer tournament.

The senior midfielder from Davis High scored three goals, including one late in the second half, to lift the Cougars to a 4-1 victory over Alabama in the second round of the NCAAs on Thursday in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“What a great performance and hard-fought battle between us and Alabama,” BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood said in a press release. “We haven’t seen that type of pressure in a while. Such a great night for Kayla. She put on a show.”

BYU will now face the Virginia, a 2-0 winner over Milwaukee, in the third round Saturday at 5 p.m. MST. The Cavaliers ended the Cougars’ season in the second round of the NCAA tournament last season.

The Cougars, who went into Thursday leading the nation in goals scored, struck quickly against the Crimson Tide. Cameron Tucker put BYU up 1-0 in the fourth minute, and Colohan doubled that lead with a goal off a penalty kick in the 20th minute.

Then, just before halftime, Colohan notched another goal in the bottom left corner of the net, giving BYU a 3-0 lead at the break. She became just the fourth player in Cougar history to net 50 career goals with that score.

BYU had 12 shots in the first half to six for Alabama, with seven of those on goal for the Cougars. BYU outshot the Crimson Tide 20-12 on the game, with an 11-2 edge in shots on goal.

Alabama made it a two-goal game and added some intrigue when Felicia Knox netted the Crimson Tide’s lone score in the 65th minute.

Colohan, though, squelched any hopes for an Alabama comeback when she drilled a long shot in the bottom left corner of the goal in the 74th minute. The goal capped her second career hat trick, with her first coming earlier this season against Idaho State.

“The game comes a lot easier when you get a goal quickly,” Colohan said prior to learning the Cougars would face Virginia in the next round. “I think it’s all in front of us now. I’m looking forward to Saturday, no matter who we play, but it gives me chills knowing that we might match up against Virginia again in the tournament.”

The Cougars will be playing in the NCAA tournament third round for the first time since 2019. That year, BYU reached the quarterfinals before losing to Stanford.