Behind the Score:
goals UCLA scored this weekend
non-conference games UCLA has left this season
goals scored by freshman Taylor Smith this weekend
If they looked dominant before, they appear invincible now.
The Bruins, ranked No. 3 in the nation, have won by an average of two goals a game going into last weekend.
That average is likely to continue to rise, though, after a 7-0 rout over Princeton on Friday and a 4-0 win over No. 18 Pepperdine on Sunday.
“We’re showing people that we’re creating chances and we’re actually going to put those chances in the back of the net,” said senior forward Zakiya Bywaters of the big scoring weekend.
“We’re a threat to be reckoned with.”
While the Bruins (7-0-1) haven’t lost a game all season, their games have tended to be nail-biters ““ not the case on Friday as the team scored early and often.
A number of players got the chance to put the ball in the net, with multiple goals from freshman forward Taylor Smith and Bywaters.
The goals kept coming for UCLA who went into the second half with a 6-0 lead.
The Bruins scored an extra goal in the second half that sealed not just a win, but a blowout.
The team came back on Sunday night to close out its weekend with a game against the Waves, in which they won, posting another shutout.
Bywaters, Smith, and sophomore defender Ally Courtnall netted all four goals.
“Eleven goals scored, the emphasis has been on creating and finishing our opportunities. … That’s the name of the game,” said coach B.J. Snow.
While their offense has been a significant part of their game, Snow said he does not discount their capabilities on the other side of the ball.
UCLA has only allowed two goals all season.
“If we keep the ball, sometimes that can be our best defense. … We know if we limit the other team’s ability to create chances, we’ll have better results,” Snow said.
It was the last weekend before conference play starts for UCLA.
The Pac-12, a powerhouse in women’s soccer, begins Thursday when Washington State comes to visit.
“We knew this was a big weekend to come off of going into the Pac-12. … We’re looking forward to starting the conference, next weekend’s a big game,” said sophomore midfielder Samantha Mewis.
For the first time this season, the Bruins fielded a full squad. Mewis and sophomore midfielder Sarah Killion were the last players to arrive back from the U-20 World Cup.
“The team was really welcoming, coming back was awesome and we’re glad to be here,” Mewis said.
The first part of the season is over, and Snow noted it as the close of one significant chunk of the season as they prepare for conference play.
They were able to build up their team, solidify their abilities, and now move into the always competitive Pac-12.
“Tonight was the end of the first part of the season,” Snow said. “We’re focusing on what’s going to make the difference to compete in our conference. … When we play our 11 Pac-12 conference games, it’s a fight every single game.”