Before this weekend, zeros and ones filled all the spots on the No. 3 Bruins’ conference score sheet.
UCLA women’s soccer team broke out their offensive slump in a big way this Friday and Sunday, outscoring their opponents 8-1 and securing their first two multi-goal Pac-12 wins of the year.
A struggling Arizona team, who has only one win this season, had no answer for the goal-hungry UCLA team that showed up Friday.
“We finally came together,” senior forward Sydney Leroux said. “We have been struggling to score goals so to finally come up with eight in one weekend is huge for us.”
The Bruins exploded onto the field Friday, scoring four of their six goals against the Wildcats in the first 21 minutes of the game, including a hat trick by Leroux.
Leroux exited Friday’s game after playing only 21 minutes. The senior forward broke a bone in her right hand during the game but does not expect the injury to affect her playing time.
“I think it is going to take a while to get used to,” said Leroux on the cast she wore Sunday. “It’s heavy and I am used to not having anything on my hand so it is going to take a little time. But all in all, it will be fine.”
Compared to their electric start against Arizona, the team looked lethargic in the opening minutes of Sunday’s game.
An energetic Arizona State mounted several threatening offensive attacks in the first 15 minutes but were unable to capitalize.
“We weren’t ready to play today,” coach B.J. Snow said. “The first 15 minutes I was really disappointed in our effort.
“Once we started moving the ball and connecting and getting a couple opportunities that we were able to start responding. It is one of those things, especially on a Sunday afternoon, that we have to be ready to play and we weren’t today.”
Despite their disappointing play in the beginning of the game, the Bruins fought back to grab control of the match.
But unlike the previous games, they finally able to capitalize on the many chances they created.
“It has been really good, we have been practicing scoring all the time this week,” sophomore midfielder Jenna Richmond said. “I think that we finally got the rhythm in these past two games and it has been fun.”
Richmond scored the Bruins’ second goal of the match in the 35th minute, sending a low shot into the back of the net after receiving a rebound from an Arizona State player.
“Scoring that goal was a highlight for me,” Richmond said. “Just being able to finish it, especially because I haven’t gotten a goal this year. It was nice.”
Junior midfielder Chelsea Stewart starting the scoring in the 28th minute, launching a searing 18-yard shot outside of the box that found the back of the net.
Up 2-0 by the 35th minute, the Bruins fought off an aggressive Sun Devil team for the rest of the match. The game was a hard fought one, with both teams tallying 11 fouls and a yellow card each.
“We have to be able to adapt to that,” said Snow on Arizona State’s physical style of play. “A lot of teams are going to be trying to create that atmosphere for us and we have to be able to manage.
“It is not about playing attractive soccer at all times. We have to be able to do the dirty work and adapt to the style of play that was given.”