PROVO, Utah – In the final road action of the regular season, No. 6 Santa Clara women's soccer lost 2-0 at BYU Saturday night, giving the Cougars the West Coast Conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament and at least a share of the conference title.
BYU (12-4-1, 7-1 WCC) was on its game from the opening whistle, putting pressure on the Broncos (15-3-1, 6-2 WCC) immediately. Santa Clara was able to create some chances of their own but couldn't finish any opportunities.
"I was proud of our effort tonight," Santa Clara head coach Jerry Smith said. "We actually created some really good chances to score. Credit to BYU, especially their keeper, for stopping some of our really good looks. Their first goal was well hit and the second was a little lucky as she was trying to cross it it looked like. But I was happy with our possession and the chances created even if the finishing wasn't as sharp as we wanted. We're disappointed we're no long in the driver's seat for a conference title but BYU is a good team that will represent the WCC well in the NCAA Tournament. Now it's on to the final game and the NCAA selection show."
Both goals by the Cougars were perfectly placed shots. The first came in the 14th minute when Mikayla Colohan rocketed a shot from outside the top of the 18-yard box and into the upper-right corner.
Another beautiful shot, this one by Rachel Lyman in the 53rd, made it 2-0. Near the end line in the right side of the box, Lyman lofted her shot high and over the head of a leaping Melissa Lowder into the upper-left corner of the goal.
Santa Clara had a chance to get back in the game minutes later when they drew a penalty kick. Sabrina Davis guessed right on Kelsey Turnbow's low shot to the left and kept Santa Clara off the board.
In the 59th, Lowder returned the favor by stopping a penalty kick from Maddie Gates.
Lowder finished the day with seven saves while Davis had four.
- Santa Clara is now 8-2-4 all-time against BYU.
- Santa Clara took 11 shots and put four on goal.
- Kelsey Turnbow was back in the starting lineup after missing the game at San Diego Thursday.
Santa Clara returns home to take on Pacific Saturday at 1 p.m. for Senior Day. Melissa Lowder, Maria Sanchez, Briar Blake, and Duffy Moyer will be honored in a pregame ceremony.
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