Top-seeded BYU women’s soccer advances past USC to reach 3rd-straight Sweet 16 behind Bella Folino’s goal

Bella Folino celebrates with teammates after scoring goal against the USC Trojans in second round of the NCAA tournament Thursday night in Provo, Utah. Photo Courtsey of BYU Athletics / BYU Women's Soccer and BYU Photo.

Provo, UT – 

A goal from Bella Folino off a gorgeous pass from Brecken Mozingo in the 59th minute helped Top-seeded BYU women’s soccer advance to the third round of the NCAA on Thursday night at South Field in Provo, Utah defeating the USC Trojans 2-0.

BYU Freshman goalkeeper Lynetter Hernanez made six unbelievable saves in the shutout, including one in the final minute of play.

“Lynette has really come a long way over the season. She has worked very hard; she had  some time away from the game through covid-19 and serving a mission. She is really back at it right now, and has gotten better and better as the season has gone on. Lynette is a big presence in the back, and came up with some fantastic saves. You have to rely on your keeper to keep you in games” BYU coach Jennifer Rockwood said, complicating Hernaez’s performance Thursday night.

Hernanez earned her 5th career shutout of the 2023 season, and is only a freshman. Hernaez returned home from a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints 

Head Coach Jennifer Rockwood’s program really gets out shot and more than often dominates the possession battle. That wouldn’t be the case Thursday night as the Trojans would come into Provo and outshot the Cougars 16-15, and possessed the ball 49% of the time.

“After we scored the game kind of went up a little bit more in translation. USC has some extremely fast, athletic, quick, and dangerous players. We had a hard time, maybe closing the game out, but keeping the ball. USC became more dangerous and relied on their one on ones. We held strong, we bent a little bit but didn’t break.” Rockwood said.

The Trojans had plenty of chances for an equaliser. They even took the eight of the last 11 shots, but fell short, which ultimately led to their season coming to an end.

“We clearly tried to be compact and safe defensively to have a run and counter attack, which I thought we did well,” said USC Coach Jane Alukonis in the postgame press conference.

The Cougars advanced to the Sweet 16 for the third year in a row, and fourth time in five years. They will face #5 seed Michigan State on Saturday November 18th. Kick-off is scheduled for 6pm MDT. The game will be broadcast on ESPN +


Postgame Sound:


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