All three West Coast Conference programs advanced to the NCAA Second Round, marking the second consecutive season that the WCC went unbeaten to send three teams through in NCAA Tournament action. Overall, it marks the third time in the last four seasons at least three WCC squads have advanced to the second round of the NCAA postseason.
Fourth-seeded BYU shutout UNLV, 2-0, to ease to the next round on Friday while at-large bid Santa Clara dispatched of Long Beach State, 3-0. WCC champion Pepperdine defeated California in a penalty kick shootout after the two teams tied 1-1 in regulation.
BYU 2, UNLV 0
PROVO, Utah – Michele Vasconcelos and Elena Medeiros each scored a goal to propel No. 4 BYU women’s soccer over UNLV in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Friday night at South Field.
BYU improved to 17-2-1 overall while UNLV finished their season 17-3-3.
Vasconcelos found the back of the net first for the Cougars in the 20th minute after a cross from Ashley Hatch. Vasconcelos’ shot deflected off a UNLV defender around the penalty spot making it nearly impossible to stop. It was her 15th goal of the season and the sixth consecutive game she’s scored. Hatch was credited with the assist.
BYU's defense held UNLV to a scoreless first half as the Cougars went into halftime with a 1-0 lead.
BYU opened the second half with another goal after Nadia Gomes connected with Paige Hunt Barker who fired it off to Medeiros in the 47th minute. Medeiros hammered a one-touch shot from the left side of the box as the ball flew past the left side of the keeper. It marked her sixth goal of the year as Barker and Medeiros picked up assists.
The Cougars' two goals were enough to secure a 2-0 victory and advance to the second round of the tournament. Goalkeeper Hannah Clark recorded two saves for BYU's 13th shutout of the season. The Cougars recorded 10 shots on goal while holding UNLV to just two.
This is the fourth time in the last five years BYU has advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament.
SANTA CLARA 3, LONG BEACH STATE 0
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – For the second consecutive season Santa Clara women's soccer beat Long Beach State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Stevens Stadium. The Broncos beat the 49ers 3-0 Saturday afternoon to advance to the second round.
It was the sixth win in six tries for Santa Clara (10-6-4) over Long Beach State (10-7-4), with four of those victories coming in the NCAA Tournament. The Broncos have taken out the 49ers in the first round in three of the last four seasons.
The Broncos jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute. After a ball bounced off a defender in the box, Jordan Jesolva was able to gather and fire her shot just inside the left post and past the diving keeper for the goal.
The second goal of the match was a beauty from Maddie Gonzalez in the 65th minute. She got the ball just inside the top of the 18-yard box and fired a hire shot that hit the crossbar and bounced down for the goal.
Gonzalez added her second of the game in the 83rd. Hailai Arghandiwal sent a pass to Gonzalez who used a spin move to get free of her defender in the box and chipped her shot over the goalkeeper who was coming off her line.
Santa Clara and No. 2 Stanford meet in Palo Alto Friday at 7 p.m.
PEPPERDINE 1, CALIFORNIA 1 (PEPP advances on PKs, 3-2)
MALIBU, Calif. - The No. 19 Pepperdine women's soccer team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday, beating No. 24 California on penalty kicks. The teams were tied 1-1 through two overtimes, when Rylee Baisden sent home the game-winner on the final penalty try as the Waves won the shootout 3-2.
Pepperdine will play North Carolina State in the round of 32, with the second and third round games being hosted at Stanford, in Palo Alto, Calif. It is the sixth time the Waves have advanced past the first round of the NCAA Tournament and the second time in three years Pepperdine has won its first-round matchup on penalty kicks.
The game goes down as a tie officially, moving the Waves' record to 12-4-4 and Cal to 13-5-3.
Pepperdine came out of the gates hot, getting a goal from Danielle Thomas in the sixth minute. Thomas headed in a long set-piece from Baisden for her third goal of the season.
The Waves made the 1-0 lead hold up for 62 minutes, but the Golden Bears finally struck in the 68th. Arielle Ship finished a cross from Ifeoma Onumonu just off the endline to even the game at 1-1.
Hannah Seabert made saves in both overtimes and finished the game with five saves during the run of play. In what was one of the biggest plays of the day, Seabert saved the Waves by stopping a one-on-one shot from Onumonu in the 88th minute, charging the Cal attacker and deflecting away the breakaway attempt.
Seabert would make one big save during the shootout, while Cal missed on two other attempts.
Both teams hit their first penalty kick attempts, but Cal would miss first, as Ship sent a ball off the crossbar. Rachael Collins followed the miss by burying her attempts to put the Waves up 2-1. After a Bear make, Cal keeper Emily Boyd made her only save of the shootout to keep things even at 2-2.
Seabert followed suit on the very next attempt, making a diving save to her right on a low shot, Pepperdine couldn't capitalize immediately, missing on their next attempt, but the following shot for Cal went wide, setting up Baisden to be the hero. The senior's take was a no-doubter into the back of the net, setting off a Pepperdine celebration.
Head coach Tim Ward has now guided Pepperdine to seven NCAA Tournament victories and twice has seen the team advance on penalty kicks under his watch. The Waves also beat USC on kicks at home back in 2014, eventually making it to the Sweet 16.