In the shootout to decide which team, BYU or Marquette, would advance to the NCAA elite eight, BYU goalkeeper Erica Owens (’14) came up big. To save anything in a shootout is a feat; each team’s five best take penalty kicks from just 12 yards away. With a split second to react, keepers must pick—left or right. On this shot, Owens chose right. The save invigorated the Cougars, who were down 2–1 in the best-of-five shootout.
If the score is still tied after five shooters from each team—and it was—the gut-wrenching ordeal goes one-and-one: Marquette scored. BYU had to answer. Marquette scored again. BYU answered. Then Marquette sailed one over the crossbar, and BYU sophomore Kayla M. Varner (’15) (opposite, top) had a window. “Keep it low and to the corners is all I could think,” says Varner. With thousands of eyes on her—including those of her boyfriend, Major League Baseball Rookie of the Year Bryce Harper, in the stands—Varner tucked it away, giving BYU the victory. The Cougars advanced, with home-field advantage, to face women’s soccer dynasty University of North Carolina (see p. 10).
Photography by Jaren S. Wilkey (BA ’01)