Behind the Score
41: Combined shots for UCLA against Utah and Colorado
8: Combined shots between Utes and Buffaloes against Bruins
5: Team-high number of shots taken by senior midfielder/forward Zakiya Bywaters on Sunday
Last weekend, women’s soccer coach B.J. Snow said the luxury to rest players during games and save them for the playoffs does not exist in Pac-12 play.
However, he seemed to have changed his tune, as he sat senior midfielder/forward Zakiya Bywaters ““ the Pac-12 leader in goals scored ““ for the majority of this weekend’s games against Utah and Colorado.
Luckily for Snow and his No. 3 Bruins (14-0-2, 7-0-1 Pac-12), they were able to take care of both teams without requiring much of Bywaters’ help.
Bywaters was recovering from an abductor injury that she has played through for most of the season.
“She’s been injured for six weeks, so we’ve been managing her time and it hasn’t been (making) a lot of progress,” Snow said. “We held her out for most of the game to see if we can get her healed going into the postseason.”
Even though it was missing its top player, the team was able to pull through.
“Our team was able to show me that they can be professionals,” Snow said. “Coming back from a long road trip … sometimes you can go through dips and valleys in a season, and I really challenged them this weekend to continue to try to evolve from our road trip.”
Wearing pink jerseys to support breast cancer awareness on Sunday afternoon, the Bruins defeated the Utes 2-0 with two goals late in the second half.
The game-winner came from senior midfielder Chelsea Cline, while sophomore forward Rosie White added some late insurance off a shot that hit the crossbar and bounced over the goal line.
“Everything built up to it,” Cline said. “(Sophomore defender) Ally Courtnall’s ball to me was perfect and she just led me on to what I was able to do with it to finish the goal.”
Bywaters was able to play the first 35 minutes of the second half, and led the team with five shots.
On Friday night, the Bruins were able to hold off the Colorado Buffaloes for a 2-1 victory with Bywaters playing just 17 minutes off the bench.
Senior defender Lucretia Lee scored her first career goal as a Bruin off a corner kick from sophomore midfielder Sarah Killion.
“I was so happy to actually get a goal for the team,” Lee said. “It was much-needed and I just couldn’t believe it right when I scored.”
Killion would add her own goal in the second half off UCLA’s first penalty kick attempt of the season.
“I think everybody knew that everyone had to pick it up just a little bit and I think we did that,” Killion said.
With Cal and Stanford heading to Drake Stadium next weekend, it will be crucial to see how Bywaters’ injury progresses throughout the week.
“It’s day-to-day with (Bywaters) and when you’ve had a nagging injury like she’s had for a while, it’s about trying to figure out day to day where she stands,” Snow said.
“I think she’s starting to turn the corner, so hopefully she’ll be in a better situation next week than she was this week.”
Email Drantch at firstname.lastname@example.org.