The Utah crossbar had taken a beating in the first half, with UCLA firing shot after shot, but it was still 0-0 when Kodi Lavrusky had her chance.
The UCLA senior forward had a one-on-one opportunity, charging down the center of the field toward Utah goalkeeper Lindsey Luke. Seconds later, both players were down on the grass, Luke with the ball in hand and Lavrusky flipped over onto her back, lamenting yet another missed shot.
But Lavrusky would have another chance.
In the 67th minute, Lavrusky locked down UCLA’s 1-0 win over Utah. Redshirt sophomore defender Zoey Goralski crossed the ball to the far post where Lavrusky waited to knock it in. UCLA made 13 attempts on goal throughout the match.
“I knew we were gonna finish at least one of them,” Lavrusky said. “So when (Goralski) finally dribbled it up there and it was kind of bouncing around in the box a little bit, I found a way to squeeze between the defender and the ball and get it past the goalie.”
Goralski did not get the assist since the ball touched two defenders before getting to Lavrusky, but her contribution to the goal was substantial.
“I overlapped (the defense) on the outside and I cut across and saw (Lavrusky) on the weak side,” Goralski said. “I played it to her and she’s a great finisher, so she did her job.”
Goralski had been looking for that finisher the whole game, making effective crosses that were not put into the goal for one reason or another.
“All our (midfielder) have really high work rates,” said coach Amanda Cromwell. “Their intensity and total distances are really high and we had Goralski running up and down the field the whole time trying to make end line. … We just need to be better finishers.”
Though the Bruins only put the ball in the goal once, they were able to get a win with a suffocating defense. Utes only took three shots the entire game. They’ve played many low-scoring games this season due to a staunch defense, but an ineffective offense.
In Friday’s game versus Colorado, UCLA’s win was by only one goal, but at that point, Cromwell wasn’t being picky.
“Two wins,” Cromwell said. “I told them we needed two wins, and we got two wins. At this point I’ll take it.”
During the huddle after the game, Cromwell addressed the excited and victorious team.
“Going forward, we’re the underdog. We have nothing to lose. Let’s just get some more wins,” Cromwell said.