The Bruins held their opponents scoreless for the second game in a row.
No. 8 UCLA women’s soccer (4-1-1) bested Loyola Marymount (2-5-2) 3-0 on Thursday night in the first of two road games this week. With this win, UCLA leads the overall series against LMU 14-0-1.
“This road win was a good booster for us,” said redshirt freshman goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy. “Getting shutouts and winning by 3 is obviously the best feeling and this is the second time in a row we’ve done that.”
The Bruins held possession on the Lions’ side of the field early on in the first half. However, UCLA did not score until just seven minutes before halftime, when junior midfielder Jessie Fleming recorded her first goal of the season off a corner kick delivered by senior forward Anika Rodriguez. This game was Fleming’s first since her return from a stint on the Canadian women’s national team.
The Bruins allowed the Lions no shots on goal in the first half. Despite producing seven shots of its own, UCLA was not able to find the back of the net again before halftime.
“We saw tonight that we can score a variety of different ways from different people,” said coach Amanda Cromwell. “Tonight showed us that we are going to see a lot of goal scorers emerge across the season.”
LMU recorded its first shot on goal in the first five minutes of the second half. However, redshirt junior midfielder Chloe Castaneda doubled UCLA’s lead soon after by scoring her first goal of the year with assists from senior forward Hailie Mace and sophomore midfielder Delanie Sheehan. Less than four minutes later, Mace assisted another Bruin to scored her first goal of the year when sophomore defender Kennedy Faulknor’s shot ricocheted off an LMU defender’s foot and past Lion goalkeeper Charlee Pruitt into the right corner of the goal.
“There was a corner kick, (freshman forward Olivia De Moraes) headed it back, (Mace) passed it and I just tapped it in,” Faulknor said. “It was a group effort.”
Each of the Bruins’ three goals were scored on corner kicks. UCLA held LMU to just three shots on goal in the final half and forced five saves by Pruitt. The Lions failed to force any saves from the Bruins, and, with a final score of 3-0, Brzykcy recorded her first shutout game.
“I wasn’t expecting them to man-mark us all over the field,” Cromwell said. “They bunkered in a bit more than I thought they would. It posed some challenges for the team because they weren’t recognizing some of the moves we needed to make.”
The Bruins have a chance to lengthen their winning streak when they travel south to take on the San Diego State Aztecs on Sunday. UCLA leads the overall series against SDSU 14-1-1.
“I’m playing with the best players in the U.S. and Canada,” Faulknor said. “This is a better environment than any to grow and get better. Hopefully, we will continue to do just that.”