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BYU advances to NCAA final after shootout with Santa Clara

December 4, 2021 GMT

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Ellie Glenn’s attempt for defending champion Santa Clara hit the post and BYU advanced to the Women’s College Cup final 3-2 in a shootout after a scoreless draw on Friday night.

BYU will make its first appearance in the NCAA championship against Florida State on Monday. The top-ranked Seminoles beat Rutgers 1-0 earlier Friday.

The shootout was 2-2 when BYU’s Olivia Wade converted her penalty kick. Glenn’s miss then sealed it.

“Wow, what a game,” BYU coach Jennifer Rockwood proclaimed afterward.

Thirteenth-ranked BYU defeated South Carolina 4-1 in the quarterfinals. The Cougars led the NCAA in scoring this season with an average of 3.5 goals a game.

Santa Clara, making its 12th overall trip to the College Cup, downed Duke 2-1 in the quarterfinals. The Broncos had won nine straight NCAA tournament games going into the match.

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Last season’s College Cup final was played in May after the coronavirus pandemic postponed the 2020 season. The Broncos won the title on penalties after a 1-1 draw with Florida State.

“Just to look back at where we were and where we are now, coming off a national championship and to make it back into the College Cup despite everything that’s happened,” Santa Clara forward Kelsey Turnbow said. “It’s absolutely incredible. I just couldn’t be more proud to be a Bronco.”

It was a tight, physical game throughout. Santa Clara goalkeeper Kylie Foutch had eight saves in regulation and extra time, while Cassidy Smith had seven for BYU.

“Obviously our our next game is the biggest one of all of our careers, and we’re looking forward to it,” Rockwood said. “It obviously means quite a bit.”

The Seminoles won championships in 2014 and 2018.

The championship game was scheduled for Sunday, but because of BYU’s victory it will be moved to Monday out of respect for the school’s religious observances.

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