It was Friday the 13th, but there wasn’t any bad luck for the UCLA women’s soccer team.
The team finally came home after a four-game stretch on the road, dispatching the visiting San Diego State Aztecs (1-4-2) with a 2-0 victory.
UCLA made several plays that threatened to take the lead in the first half, including an attempt on goal from a direct free kick by junior defender Abby Dahlkemper. Dahlkemper’s shot curled around the Aztecs’ wall and looked destined to find the back of the net, but an athletic feat from the Aztec goalkeeper kept the score level.
“I was just trying to bend it over the wall. It could’ve been maybe a little higher and wider. I just tried to put it on frame, and I’ve been working on those, so hopefully I’ll eventually get one,” Dahlkemper said.
But after five other shots also failed to seal the deal, it seemed like the Bruins would be unable to break the deadlock in the first half. However, with 30 seconds left before the break and the ball in her possession, sophomore forward Kodi Lavrusky spotted the Aztec goalkeeper off her line.
“I did a quick turn, was on top of the box and saw she was offset, took a shot, a little floater over the top.” Lavrusky said about her shot from 25-yards out.
Despite already being a goal up, the Bruins were determined to stay on the hunt for a second goal.
Junior midfielder Sarah Killion, normally known for her reliability in protecting the back four as the Bruins’ defensive anchor in midfield, showed a different aspect of her game in the early minutes of the second half.
Killion found herself with the ball and in open space in the 45th and 47th minute. On both occasions, she took advantage of the freedom provided by San Diego State’s defense, sending the ball hurtling toward the goal, which demanded two acrobatic saves from the goalie.
“(Killion) has the freedom to go forward if she wants to, and she saw the opening to dribble forward and she was actually unlucky not to score a goal,” coach Amanda Cromwell said.
The elusive second goal for the No. 5 Bruins (6-1) finally came in the 87th minute of competition. Junior defender Caprice Dydasco’s corner kick ricocheted off the Aztecs’ crossbar towards Dahlkemper, who calmly slotted the ball into the back of the net to score her first goal of the season, while also allowing Dydasco to continue the trend of claiming an assist in every single home game this season.
“We’ve been working on corners a lot, and we haven’t been real effective on scoring on them, so that was one of the goals tonight, to get a goal off a set play, specifically a corner kick,” Cromwell said.
The Bruins will resume competition next weekend on the road against Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount University, two opponents they said they will not take lightly.
“Pepperdine always plays a good game against us and last year we tied LMU, so we’re definitely looking for a bit of revenge and just two good team wins,” Dahlkemper said.