The BYU women’s soccer team delivered a school first Thursday night.

The No. 13-ranked Cougars beat No. 21 Saint Louis 3-2 at South Field in the season opener for both schools — BYU not only won a matchup of two top 25 teams but captured the university’s first victory of its Big 12 era.

It also happened to come in the first sporting event of the Big 12 era for any BYU program.

A quick start gave the Cougars the needed breathing room to fend off the Billikens.

Less than two minutes into the match, Allie Fryer had a header ricochet off the top bar, but Bella Folino was in position to strike the ball into the back of the net for the night’s first goal.

The Cougars doubled their lead to 2-0 when Olivia Wade Katoa knocked in a shot just nine minutes and 13 seconds into the contest, with assists coming from Jamie Shepherd and Ellie Boren.

Saint Louis narrowed its deficit with a goal just four minutes later, but BYU pushed its lead back to two goals with just over two minutes remaining in the first half.

After taking a pass from Kendell Petersen, Erin Bailey sent a strike into the top left of the goal 42:55 into the contest, giving BYU the 3-1 lead at halftime.

It was the first time that Saint Louis had allowed more than two goals in a game since the Billikens’ second-round NCAA tournament game in 2021.

The Cougars allowed Saint Louis to score another goal late in the second half to again make it a one-goal game, but BYU held on from there. The Cougars outshot the Billikens 26-17, and BYU goalkeeper Savanna Mason had seven saves.

“It was a huge win for us against a very good team that leads the country in scoring,” BYU coach Jennifer Rockwood said, per the team’s website. Saint Louis led the country in scoring last season, averaging 2.95 goals per game.

“We certainly had our ups and downs throughout the game. We had some good composure and bad composure, but that’s why we play a team like this from the beginning — so we have lots to learn from. 

The BYU women’s soccer team will play the school’s next two games of the Big 12 era as well — on Saturday against Cal-State Fullerton and next week against Long Beach State — before another program, women’s volleyball, will open its season Aug. 25 with a match against Pittsburgh.

“We’re going to learn how to close out games a lot better, but we held on to the win, and that’s most important,” Rockwood said.