After a showdown in the desert of Arizona, after battling through heavy winds and rain in Seattle, the Bruins are back in town.
The women’s soccer team returns this weekend to Southern California weather for the first time in a month.
No. 3 UCLA (12-0-2, 5-0-1 Pac-12) returns to Drake Stadium for a Pac-12 showdown with Colorado (6-6-3, 0-5-1) on tonight and a Sunday matinee against Utah (8-4-2, 3-3-0).
“This weekend is as tough of a weekend as we’ve had all year long,” said coach B.J. Snow.
“Colorado and Utah are very tough teams to play against. … We’re going to have to be sophisticated in the way we try to break them down and take care of our opportunities and keep our defense tight and be ready for a huge weekend.”
After playing their last five games on the road, the Bruins are glad to be back on their home turf.
“As freshmen last year, we didn’t really have to experience (playing away) three weeks consecutive in a row. It’s really tough playing away at different stadiums,” said sophomore goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland.
“It’s going to be really nice with the crowd behind us at Drake, where we’re familiar with the field (and) the atmosphere.”
Nevertheless, they do want to bring what they’ve learned from their road trip and apply it to their home stand.
“I think we just need to take the momentum that we’ve carried from the away games and bring it back home and just continue what we’ve been doing,” said sophomore defender Abby Dahlkemper.
The team received another honor this week when sophomore forward Rosie White was named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week for her game-winning goal at Washington last weekend.
It was White’s first weekly honor and the fifth of the season thus far for the Bruins.
“I didn’t really realize what kind of a honor it was until I sort of read the info on it, but it was really cool,” White said. “I wasn’t expecting it.”
White made note of their coach’s balanced approach to the week of practice.
“He’s just been really wanting us to be really positive and work on a few things ““ in position, just keeping the ball and moving it a lot,” White said.
“He’s given us a little bit of time off to sort of recover from the three weeks of traveling, so it’s been nice, but it’s just kind of getting us back together and being positive.”
While the Bruins might sweat in the Southern California heat this weekend, they might not be sweating their opponents, as neither is above .500 in conference play.
“We’ve just got to play for each other … and just play for all that we have and I think we’ll be fine,” Rowland said.
Email Drantch at [email protected].