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PROVO, Utah (Nov. 10, 2007) -- In a hard-fought championship game, BYU defeated UNLV with an own goal off of a Rebel defender and an unassisted goal from MWC Tournament MVP Katie Fellows, and will advance to the NCAA Tournament with an automatic berth.
The Cougars claimed the MWC Tournament Championship title for the first time since 2002, in front of 2,625 fans at a standing-room only South Stadium.
"This team has been dedicated to get back to this place and I'm really proud," BYU head coach Jen Rockwood said. "It's a well deserved win for these girls. We've played a great season and we knew we had people that were up to the challenge and we proved that today."
The Cougars came out hard at the beginning of the game but were unable to capitalize on scoring opportunities. BYU booted seven shots against the Rebel defense, but the Cougars did not put the ball in the net in the first half.
BYU goalkeeper Erica Woodbury stopped four Rebel shots in the first half. UNLV's closest opportunity to score came when Haley Partridge met Woodbury one on one. Woodbury came to the top of the box to make the save and keep the score at zero during to end the half.
Both teams came out stronger in the second half and played aggressively on both sides of the ball. BYU was the first team to capitalize and put a goal on the board. The Cougars managed to get eight shots off during the second half, while the defense held UNLV to six shots.
A Rebel foul gave the Cougars a free kick in the 48th minute and Fellows headed the ball to the goal off the Carolyn Swensen kick. The ball was stopped by UNLV and then deflected into the goal by UNLV's Dani Morin.
BYU extended its lead with an unassisted goal Fellows 19 minutes later, her third on the season. Fellows brought the ball out the midfield, weaving through defenders, and put the shot just out of the reach of UNLV goalkeeper Alicia Lugo in the lower left corner.
UNLV narrowed the Cougar lead with a penalty kick in the 72nd minute. Jessica Harmon-Carter fouled Katie Carney, UNLV's leading scorer, just inside the penalty area. Carney knocked the ball into the upper right corner, and Woodbury was unable to make the save. It was the Cougars ninth goal allowed during the season.
Seeds, locations and dates regarding the 2007 NCAA Soccer Tournament will be announced Monday Nov. 12, at 6 p.m. MT.
MWC All-Tournament Team: Katie Larkin Katie Fellows Carolyn Swenson Adrea Willis
MWC Tournament MVP: Katie Fellows