Tuesday, October 24

Leroux lead’s women’s soccer to shut-out win over Virgina at home

The story of UCLA women’s soccer in the NCAA Tournament has been Sydney Leroux.

The sophomore forward scored two goals Friday night to lift UCLA (20-2-1) over Virginia (10-6-6) 3-0 in the Round of 16 at Drake Stadium Friday night.

Leroux’s first goal came in the 42nd minute when senior forward Lauren Cheney received a pass from freshman defender Lucretia Lee and touched the ball back to Leroux, who fired from the top of the box to the left corner.

With less than two minutes to go in the match, Leroux posted her second goal of the match and her eighth in the postseason when she dribbled through Cavalier defenders and punched a low shot into the right corner with the outside of her foot.

“She’s a goal-scorer,” coach Jill Ellis said. “Cheney gave her good spots, gave her the ball, and she’s just got a nose for the goal. She’s having a great run.”

With her two goals on Friday, Leroux notched her 22nd and 23rd goals this year, tying Cheney’s 2007 record for most goals in a season. Her eight postseason goals surpassed redshirt senior Kara Lang’s mark for single-season NCAA Tournament goals, previously set at seven in 2005.

“We haven’t really been talking about records,” Leroux said. “Cheney’s about to break the big one. I just think that right now, we’re just so excited with winning. Our records to us right now is probably not the most important thing. The most important thing is that we came out tonight and we played amazing and came out with a three-nothing win to go into the quarters.”

The top-seeded Bruins registered an early goal in the fourth minute when senior defender Dea Cook headed in a shot into the right corner after a cornerkick from junior defender Lauren Barnes.

“That gives us a lot of confidence to score that early,” Ellis said. “We spent a lot of time this year on our set pieces and it’s paying off.”

In addition to its offensive prowess, UCLA won the match on the defensive end

“We knew a lot about what they were going to do, so we were really prepared,” Leroux said. “We knew that this team came off a 6-2 win against a good team, so we knew that they were capable of scoring goals in the second half. We just needed to plug in and we handled business.”

The Bruins will face second-seeded Portland in the quarterfinals next week at home. Portland is coming off a 4-1 victory over Virginia Tech.

“Great rivalry, familiar foes in the quarterfinals,” said Ellis of Portland. “We have our work cut out and we’ll prepare this week for them.

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