Doug Robinson: Ohai coming back home for NCAA showdown with Cougars

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 20 2012 7:03 p.m. MST

A week ago, Ben asked Kealia where she would prefer to play the Elite Eight game — in North Carolina against Marquette or in Utah against BYU? She said Provo and then got her wish. This will mark the first time she has played in Utah since graduating from high school. It also marks the first time North Carolina has played a soccer match here.

Among those cheering for Kealia will be Megan, who recently had a baby with husband Brian Cushing (a linebacker with the Houston Texans) and is traveling from Houston to see the game.

"It's going to be fun," says Kealia. "Family and friends will be there. All my old soccer coaches and teammates have been calling for tickets. Everyone is trying to get in there."

BYU has become a national title contender since Ohai graduated from high school. The Cougars are 20-1-2 this season and ranked only behind Stanford. Their players are all familiar to Kealia, which enabled her to contribute some to the scouting report.

"The coaches asked me a little about the players and about the altitude," she says. "They're a little worried about the altitude, but I don't think it will be a factor."

After watching video of BYU's win over Marquette last week, Kealia notes, "They're a really good team. They did awesome this year. We think our styles of play will match up."

email: drob@desnews.com

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