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STANFORD — Junior Catarina Macario scored twice in the first half hour as the overall top-seeded Stanford women advanced to their third consecutive College Cup with a resounding 5-1 home victory Friday over previously unbeaten Brigham Young in the quarterfinals of the NCAA women’s soccer tournament.
Macario, the reigning college player of the year, scored off two assists from forward Madison Haley and another from freshman forward Sophia Smith. Kiki Pickett and Sam Tran also scored before halftime as the Cardinal (22-1-0) won its 17th consecutive game in front of 2,041 fans at Cagan Stadium.
Stanford, which reached its ninth College Cup in 12 years, will play Pac-12 rival UCLA on Friday at 6:30 p.m. at San Jose’s Avaya Stadium in the national semifinals.
“It took us a few minutes to settle in today, but I was thrilled with the result and am excited for this chance to play for a championship so close to home,” Stanford coach Paul Radcliffe said.
Chloe Castaneda and Mia Fishel each had two goals as second-seeded UCLA (18-4-1) upset defending national champion Florida State 4-0 to advance. A third Pac-12 team, Washington State, also reached the College Cup by stunning second-seeded South Carolina on the road when Mykiaa Minniss scored a golden goal 10 minutes into the first overtime.
The Cougars (16-6-1), who also knocked off top-seeded Virginia, reached their first College Cup in school history. They will face top-seed North Carolina (23-1-1) at 4 p.m. Friday. The national championship match is Sunday at Avaya Stadium at 5:30 p.m.
Maycee Bell scored on a header in the 69th minute as the Tar Heels held off No. 2 USC 3-2 to stop an all-West Coast Final Four. North Carolina reached the College Cup for the third time in four years. It has won an NCAA record 21 titles and is appearing in its record 29th College Cup.
Stanford will appear in its 10th College Cup after a year with one of the country’s most potent offenses.
BYU started fast against the Cardinal, which has outscored tournament opponents 26-1 in four games. The Cougars (21-1-1) almost scored in the second minute but Cardinal defenders blocked a strong shot. BYU kept pressing until Stanford began to hold the ball and mount attacks.
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“We knew we needed to settle it down,” defender Sam Hiatt said. “Everyone started to take an extra touch and maybe put a little extra focus to keep possession.”
The Cardinal broke through in the 17th minute when Haley played a ball to Macario in the penalty area. The midfielder scored easily with a shot into the top corner. About 13 minutes later, she scored her 32nd goal of the season — her ninth of the tournament.