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The Y Report

Comeback Cougs 


The BYU women's soccer team celebrates their NCAA Elite Eight win against North Carolina
Photo by Donovan Kelly

Never mind falling behind 3–0 just 20 minutes into the NCAA Elite Eight match against powerhouse North Carolina. Or that the Tarheels boasted one of the nation’s best defenses. At half time of the snowy November game, the Cougars weren’t ready to count themselves out. 

Before returning to play, midfielder Olivia J. Wade-Katoa (’24) huddled with a group of fellow seniors: “We can still do this,” she recalls saying. 

BYU finally broke through when Annabella Folino (BA ’22) poked in a loose ball. With under 10 minutes to go, Brecken I. Mozingo (’24) curved in a corner kick. Less than a minute later, Folino rocketed in a rebound to tie things up. 

And then, with 80 seconds remaining, Wade-Katoa sealed the win, 4–3. “I felt a rush of emotion as soon as I saw [the ball] hit the back of the net,” she told BYU Sports Nation. “I was in disbelief.” The Cougars had tied the largest comeback in NCAA women’s soccer tournament history. 

The win led the Cougars to their second College Cup appearance in three years, where they fell to Stanford in the semifinals, 2–0. “This senior group has been really special,” says Coach Jennifer Rockwood (BS ’89). “They can hold their heads high.” 

4 goals

scored by BYU in the last 31 minutes of the UNC game; three of those in the last 10, marking the largest second-half comeback in South Field history. 

30º F 

The temperature at a snowy South Field during the Elite Eight match. 

79 

Total goals scored by BYU in 2023—the most of any NCAA team. They also ranked first in shots per game.