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All Three WCC Programs Advance to NCAA Second Round

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COMPLETE NCAA RECAPS – BYU COUGARS | LMU LIONS | SANTA CLARA BRONCOS 

SAN BRUNO, Calif. – All three West Coast Conference programs competing in the 2015 NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship advanced to the second round Saturday. WCC Champion and No. 13 BYU, Loyola Marymount and No. 12 Santa Clara all posted 1-0 results. 

It marks the second time in the last three seasons at least three WCC squads have advanced to the second round of the NCAA postseason.

BYU 1, UTAH VALLEY 0
PROVO, Utah – An Elena Medeiros goal in the 21st minute was all BYU needed to defeat Utah Valley in the first round of the NCAA tournament Saturday at South Field. The win was BYU’s fourth straight NCAA playoff victory at South Field. 

“I’m really proud of the girls today,” BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. “Any time you get to the NCAA tournament you know it's one and done so it puts a lot of pressure on both teams. I’m really proud of the way we played and the way we prepared.” 

The winning goal for BYU came when Jocelyn Loomis found WCC Player of the Year Nadia Gomes just outside of the UVU box. Gomes dribbled around a defender before passing to Elena Medeiros who put it past the Wolverine goalkeeper into the bottom left corner of the net from the top of the box. 

The goal was Medeiros’ eighth of the season and 14th of her career, while Gomes recorded her fourth assist of the year, helping the Cougars to remain undefeated at home this season. 

At halftime  BYU led UVU in shots 10-4. Play was very physical with UVU committing 12 fouls to BYU’s 3. In the second half, the Cougars kept up the offensive pressure. In the 53rd minute, Madie Lyons broke free from the defense and fired a shot beyond the 40 yard mark that sailed right.

Hatch had her first shot on goal in the 75th minute when the ball bounced off the head of the last UVU defender. Hatch controlled the ball off the bounce before firing a shot that was saved by Duffin who finished with five saves in the match. 

In the 81st minute, McCarter again broke through the BYU line and fired another shot from the right side that was stopped by Cougar goalkeeper Rachel Boaz. Boaz finished with three saves on the night to give BYU its 14th shutout of the year and keeping the Cougars as the nation's leader in goals against average. 

BYU finished the game outshooting UVU 18-7. The game had 22 total fouls with UVU committing 16 and BYU committing six. UVU’s Lexi Felis and Kali Stubbs both received yellow cards in the second half.

The Cougars will travel to face top-seeded Stanford in the second round of NCAA play this Thursday. Earlier this season, BYU fell to Stanford 1-0 in Palo Alto on Labor Day. 

LOYOLA MARYMOUNT 1, AT NO. 17 CAL 0
BERKELEY, Calif. - The record-setting LMU women's soccer season continued to roll on Saturday afternoon as the Lions turned in an incredible defensive effort in a 1-0 upset of 17th-ranked Cal in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Senior Callie Taylor provided the offensive heroics for the Lions, finding the back off the net off a Jocelyn Blankenshipcorner kick at the 38:46 mark of the match.

"Obviously, were very excited," said Head Coach Michelle Myers. "I'm so happy for our seniors. We have nine seniors and their leadership has been fantastic all year long. Our defense was spectacular today. And then you always have to tuck one in the back of the net."

Form there, it was all defense. Freshman goalkeeper Charlee Pruitt made four saves and LMU fended off 19 total Golden Bear shots for their 11th shutout of the season.

The win moves LMU to 14-5-1 overall, setting a program record for single-season wins. Cal closes out the 2015 season at 13-6-3 overall. The tournament victory is also a first as the Lions had gone 0-2 in their previous two postseason appearances. 

"Our strength all year has been getting down the flanks and getting crosses in," Myers said. "Between that and our set pieces, we feel we are a very dangerous team."

Blankenship's assist was her team-leading sixth of the season and 20th of her career as the senior continues to re-write the LMU record book.

Advancing to the round of 32, the Lions will face Minnesota, a 5-0 winner over South Dakota State in the first round, on Nov. 20. The site of that match has yet to be determined.

SANTA CLARA 1, LONG BEACH STATE 0
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – In the opening round of the NCAA tournament, Santa Clara women's soccer topped Long Beach State 1-0 on Saturday afternoon. The lone goal came near the end of the first half on a failed clear by the defense.

Grace Cutler led the Broncos (14-5-2) with the game-winning goal. Andi Tostanoski had to make just one save behind the strong Santa Clara defense.

The 49ers (12-7-3) were led by Mimi Rangel who took both of the team's shots and got one on goal. Ashton McKeown had six saves to keep the game close.

"We're always happy with a win and we're always happy advancing in the NCAA tournament," said Santa Clara head coach Jerry Smith. "Once again we were a tough defensive team and Grace [Cutler] scored a nice goal for us. We played a tough Long Beach State team that's used to going to the NCAA tournament. This was a grinder match and both teams played very well. I'm very proud of our team today. When you get to the NCAA tournament the only things that matters is if you advance and we were able to do that today."

Megan Crosson had two good chances early in the game but couldn't finish. She had a shot in the 11th minute that went just wide of the far post. In the 12th minute she came back with a nice shot but McKeown made the save.

Santa Clara broke through in the 43rd minute. After a bad clear was popped in the air, Cutler gathered the ball at her feet and knocked it past the diving goalkeeper and into the back of the net to give the Broncos the 1-0 lead.

The Broncos continued the offensive pressure to start the second half. Janae Gonzalez had her shot saved by McKeown in the 48th minute andJordan Jesolva had the same outcome in the 53rd minute.

Next up the Broncos play Arizona in the second round of the NCAA tournament at Stanford on Thursday with the time yet to be announced. The Broncos and Wildcats played on Aug. 23 in Arizona with Santa Clara falling 2-1. Santa Clara is 1-2- all-time vs. Arizona.