When it comes to the BYU women’s soccer team and the NCAA Tournament, setting high expectations for seeding has often resulted in disappointment for the Cougars.
Not this year.
BYU rolled through the regular season with an 18-0-1 mark – the only unbeaten team in the country – and won its second straight West Coast Conference title. On Monday, the NCAA Tournament committee rewarded the Cougars with a No. 2 seed and a home game on Friday against Mountain West Conference champion Boise State.
A win on Friday would result in playing the next two rounds at South Field, where BYU has led the country in attendance in four of the past five seasons. The Cougars have won 13 straight home games in Provo.
“We’re super excited,” BYU senior forward Elise Flake said. “We were hoping for a two seed and that’s what we got.”
The Cougars and their fan base have often felt under-seeded by the NCAA Tournament Committee but there were no complaints on Monday afternoon after the team watched the selection show in Studio C at the BYU Broadcast Building.
“We were thinking we had an opportunity to be a 2 or 3 seed,” BYU coach Jennifer Rockwood said. “We’re excited to get a 2 seed and have the potential to play some home games. We’ve got to make sure we take care of the first one. That’s the only one that matters. We’re excited about the draw. You never know what you’re going to see when you watch the show. We haven’t played Boise State before, so they are not a team we’re familiar with, but we’ll get to work on that.”
Boise State posted an 18-3-0 record in 2019 and won the MWC Tournament with a 2-0 win against San Diego State last Saturday.
“It’s local, we don’t have to go too far, or change time zones or anything weird like that,” Broncos head coach Jim Thomas said. “It’s a group that we know. A lot of our players grew up playing their players so there are a lot of common ties there. They are one of the best teams in the country and I feel like we are too. We are definitely excited for the opportunity.”
BYU received a No. 1 seed in 2012 and played four matches at South Field, advanced to the Elite 8 before losing to North Carolina 2-1 in double overtime in front of a crowd of 4,291.
The Cougars have been a dominant team this season, outscoring their opponents 68-9 in 19 contests.
“We’re right where we want to be,” BYU junior midfielder Mikayla Colohan said. “We’ve got a good seed and a good home field advantage. It’s everything we could ask for. It’s cool to be undefeated, but we’ve got to prove ourselves now when it counts.”
The Cougars have never been a No.2 seed in any of their previous 19 NCAA appearances and have been a No. 4 three times (2002, 2005, 2016).
The other six teams on BYU’s side of the bracket – and possible opponents in rounds 2 and 3 — are No. 3 seed Arkansas, North Texas, North Carolina State, Navy, Louisville and Lipscomb.
Should the Cougars win three matches at home they would likely travel to Stanford, the No. 1 seed in that region.
The No. 1 seeds for the tournament are Stanford (18-1-0), North Carolina (19-1-1), defending national champion Florida State (15-5-0) and Virginia (16-1-2). A total of 24 of the 64 teams in the field – 37 percent – come from three conferences: ACC (nine), Pac-12 (eight) and Big 12 (seven).
Five of BYU’s 2019 opponents also made the NCAA Tournament field: WCC opponents Santa Clara and Pepperdine, Kansas (a No. 3 seed), Texas A&M and Utah.