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UCLA Women's Soccer: #4 Bruins Host San Diego Toreros this Afternoon
Both teams have a common opponent: Pepperdine. UCLA beat the Waves 3-0 while USD lost to them 4-1.
The #4 UCLA women’s soccer team (2-0-0) continues its 2020-2021 campaign with a 2 pm PT match versus the University of San Diego Toreros (0-1-0) this afternoon at Wallis Annenberg Stadium. The Bruins are coming off a big home win over then-#10 BYU. Conversely, USD was blown out by Pepperdine last Friday, by the score of 4-1. Remember, UCLA blanked Pepperdine 3-0 in their season opener, so one would think that UCLA should best the Toreros this afternoon.
Last Time Out
The Bruins had their work cut out for them in their last match, facing the Cougars. The teams were tied at the break, but BYU got a huge break shortly after the restart of play in the second half, with a UCLA clearance deflecting off the back of Cougar midfielder Jamie Shepherd into the goal. Shepherd was credited with the goal in the 48th minute.
The Bruins rebounded about ten minutes later, when Bruin sophomore midfielder Mia Fishel drew a foul in BYU’s penalty box. Senior midfielder Marley Canales calmly stepped up to the spot and buried the penalty, evening the ledger at 1-1. Canales has started the season on fire, scoring a goal and assisting on three others.
The Bruins then earned the game-winner in the 74th minute with some nice passing between senior midfielder Delanie Sheehan, freshman forward Reilyn Turner, and Sunshine Fontes. Sheehan found Turner on the right wing, who crossed the ball to Fontes, who buried the shot near the back post. The goal was especially gratifying for Fontes. Not only did the redshirt freshman score her first goal in a UCLA shirt, but she has come back for an ACL injury which wiped out her 2019 season. Good on ya, Sunshine!
UCLA outshot BYU 14 to 10 for the game, but both sides had six shots on frame. UCLA ‘keeper Lauren Brzykcy recorded five saves, good enough to earn her second consecutive Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Week award.
Speaking of ACL injuries, although it did not occur in the BYU game and has not been widely reported because UCLA keeps injuries tight to the vest, UCLA midfielder Viviana Villacorta tore her ACL in the Pepperdine game, ending her UCLA career. Our thoughts are with her as she rehabs her injury and then transitions to a pro career as she was drafted in the first round of the NWSL Draft by the Orlando Pride.
San Diego Toreros
San Diego went 8-9-1 in 2019 and returns eleven seniors from that campaign. USD, however, lost their starting goalkeeper in 2019 and their top scorer, Milan Moses, who registered nine goals on the season. The next best scorer for the Toreros in 2019 only had two goals. So, scoring could be an issue for the Toreros this season.
USD last beat a ranked opponent in 2014. That doesn’t figure to change today and the Toreros appear to be starting several freshmen in their lineup, despite all of the returning seniors.
The Bruins have a 20-1-5 all-time record versus San Diego. The Toreros’ only win over UCLA came in the first meeting between the teams back in 1993.
UCLA beat Pepperdine 3-0 and Pepperdine beat USD 4-1. USD’s only goal was on a penalty kick and the Toreros did not record any other shots on goal in the run of play during the game. As such, it reasons that UCLA should control today’s match against San Diego but things don’t always work out that way.
All things considered, however, I think that this game will go to form and that UCLA will win comfortably. I foresee UCLA tallying four or five goals and maintaining a clean sheet on the other side of the pitch.
#4 UCLA Women’s Soccer (2-0-0)
Opponent: San Diego Toreros (0-1-0)
Game Time: 2:00 pm PT, Tuesday, February 16, 2021
Where: Wallis Annenberg Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
Live TV/Audio: uclabruins.com with Nick Koop
Live Stream: None
Live Stats: UCLA StatBroadcast
This is your UCLA Women’s soccer versus USD game thread.