The No. 1 Bruins stayed undefeated Sunday, but probably not the way they wanted to.
Unranked Arizona (5-4-3, 2-2-1 Pac-12) forced UCLA women’s soccer (11-0-2, 4-0-1) into a 2-2 draw in double overtime Sunday.
“We had multiple chances that game to win; it could’ve been easily 4-2,” said coach Amanda Cromwell. “But in the end, they defended really well and got the tie.”
UCLA jumped out to an early lead off junior forward Hailie Mace’s goal in the 21st minute, assisted by redshirt sophomore forward Anika Rodriguez.
Mace has now notched 12 goals in the season, and her opening goal Sunday against the Wildcats marked her third of the weekend.
“All my goals have just come from my teammates setting me up and giving me the perfect shot,” Mace said. “It’s like I don’t have to do too much work because they set me up perfectly.”
After the Wildcats were charged with a foul in the box during the 30th minute, Rodriguez scored for the Bruins off the penalty kick to extend the lead to 2-0.
“I’m just trying to put myself in places where I can create chances for either myself or my teammates,” Rodriguez said. “I think I did my job well enough today to get us those two goals.”
But Arizona forward Hannah Clifford wasn’t about to let her team trail too far behind. Clifford netted her team’s first goal in the 36th minute off a UCLA turnover to narrow the deficit to 2-1.
Clifford was close to earning her second goal in the 38th minute, chasing after a pass from forward Jill Aguilera and getting past the goalkeeper, but her efforts were thwarted by sophomore defender Kaiya McCullough, who stepped in to clear the shot attempt.
Following the halftime break, the Wildcats tied the game 2-2 off a corner kick by midfielder Amanda Porter, who received the ball back from forward Jada Talley down low and converted on the goal to bring her team back in the game in the 65th minute.
Mace had a chance to regain the lead for UCLA in the 72th minute off a penalty kick attempt, but Arizona goalkeeper Lainey Burdett logged one of her eight saves in the game to keep the score tied.
UCLA had four shot attempts in the last 20 minutes of regular play to Arizona’s two. The Bruins kept the ball in the attack zone for most of the overtime periods, taking all four attempts in the additional play periods while shutting out the Wildcats’ scoring chances.
“We had four shots in overtime, they had zero; we had three corner kicks in overtime, they had zero,” Cromwell said. “We got our shots up and we had half of our shots on target, which is what you want.”
Although UCLA created offensive opportunities late in the game, Arizona showed its ability to slow teams down and limit the game’s pace.
“We kind of let them dictate the game – normally we play possession and keep the ball and move it,” Mace said. “We were just playing into their hands.”