UCLA Women's Soccer: After Edging the Buffs, the #3 Bruins Face Utah Today at Noon
Delanie Sheehan's 7th minute strike against Colorado was all UCLA would need in a 1-0 win on Friday.
The #3 ranked UCLA women’s soccer team (7-0-0, 4-0-0 Pac-12) is in Salt Lake City today to complete its road trip of the Pac-12 mountain schools. After beating Colorado on Friday, the Bruins will square off against the Utah Utes (2-4-2, 1-2-1 Pac-12) with a 12 pm PT kick-off.
Last Time Out
UCLA ground out a 1-0 win over the Colorado Buffaloes in Boulder on Friday. UCLA’s Delanie Sheehan got the Bruins on the board early with a wicked strike from outside the box in the seventh minute and it looked like the Bruins would be off to the races.
The Bruins looked to be the far better team in the first half, bringing waves of pressure, but would not extend their lead. Although UCLA would outshoot Colorado in the first half, 8-1, the Bruins only shot on frame in the initial 45 minutes was Sheehan’s goal.
The second half was a much different story. Colorado woke up and made a game of it.
The sides played pretty equally in the second half. Arguably, the Buffs were hard done by the loss as what looked like a sure tying goal caromed off the crossbar in the 68th minute. Colorado would never find the back of the net even though the Buffaloes outshot UCLA in the final 45 minutes, 9-8.
UCLA goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy earned her fourth clean sheet of the season, stopping two Colorado shots.
Going into this weekend, I thought that UCLA would be challenged by Colorado but that the Utah game would be a sure win. After the Utes took down #14 Southern Cal by a 2-0 scoreline on Friday, I am now not so sure. Utah rode a second half brace by junior forward Anna Escobedo to upset the Trojans.
Aside from beating Southern Cal, Utah’s only other win on the season was a 2-1 victory over Dixie State. To their credit, of the Utes eight games so far this season, six of them have been against ranked teams.
Utah and UCLA share a common opponent: BYU. UCLA beat the Cougars 2-1 in Westwood, while Utah was crushed by BYU in a neutral site game, by a 5-1 scoreline.
Even with the victory over Southern Cal, Utah has only scored six goals on the season, while conceding fifteen. Escobedo has three of those goals, while sophomore midfielder Hanna Olsen has chipped in two.
Redshirt freshman Chelsea Peterson and redshirt junior SJ Edwards have split duties in goal this season, with Edwards playing more minutes, but Peterson playing with more consistency. Edwards has allowed 11 goals and made 12 saves, while Peterson has only allowed two goals and made 12 saves. Peterson played the entire match versus Southern Cal, making three saves, and I expect her to be between the posts today.
Southern Cal’s loss might have been a bit of a wake up call for the Bruins. Utah was setting up to be a classic trap game for UCLA, sandwiched between Colorado and a road contest versus rival Southern Cal on Thursday.
Not anymore. The Trojans might have overlooked the Utes but Utah definitely has the Bruins’ attention now.
I predict that UCLA rises to the occasion today and takes the air out of Utah’s proverbial balloon with a 3-0 win.
#3 UCLA Women’s Soccer (7-0-0)
Opponent: Utah Utes (2-4-2)
Game Time: 12:00 pm PT, Sunday, March 14, 2021
Where: Ute Field, Salt Lake City, Utah
Live TV: Pac-12 Network and Mountain
Live Stream: Pac-12.com, and the Pac-12 Now app
Live Audio: None
Live Stats: Utah StatBroadcast
This is your UCLA women’s soccer versus Utah Utes game thread.