Prior to Thursday, Chloe Castaneda hadn’t scored a goal this season.
But by the end of the night, the redshirt senior forward put herself in a four-way tie for fourth-most goals on the Bruin roster.
No. 13 UCLA women’s soccer (12-4-1, 6-3-0 Pac-12) defeated Oregon State (10-5-2, 2-5-2) 4-0 on the road Thursday night, with two goals coming from Castaneda in the first half. The third goal came from sophomore midfielder Maricarmen Reyes – who has now scored two goals in four games since returning from a knee injury.
Castaneda and Reyes each logged an assist on the night, and junior forward Ashley Sanchez was involved in two of the four scoring plays.
“(Castaneda and Sanchez) had a great connection tonight,” said coach Amanda Cromwell. “They were doing a great job of finding each other and moving off the ball.”
Castaneda’s 15th-minute goal was the Bruins’ first of the night and her first of the season. Sanchez earned the assist, beating one defender on the dribble and slotting a pass through the rest of the Beaver defense to find Castaneda at the back post.
Reyes came off the bench in the 35th minute and assisted Castaneda’s next goal within minutes.
Sanchez once again set up the play, running onto a through ball on the right flank and cutting a pass back toward Reyes at the top of the box. With one touch, Reyes got the ball to Castaneda, who sent a defender sliding as she cut the ball toward the net, firing a shot to the bottom right corner.
The Bruins had a chance to extend their lead in the 50th minute, when Sanchez slid a ball through the Beaver backline, finding redshirt senior forward Anika Rodriguez in the 6-yard box. Rodriguez couldn’t get the shot off, and junior forward Kennedy Faulknor’s follow-up shot ricocheted off the crossbar.
In the 72nd minute, Castaneda sent in another cross that grazed the foot of senior midfielder Jessie Fleming before dropping to the back of the box, where Reyes was waiting to finish her second goal of the year.
“(Reyes) is a great finisher,” Cromwell said. “We want her as close to goal as possible.”
Reyes made her 2019 debut against Stanford on Oct. 19, after missing the opening months of competition with a knee injury from last season. The sophomore scored her first goal of the year – a game-winner in the 87th minute against Washington – in her second match back.
Thursday night, two minutes after Reyes’ score, the Bruins had a free kick from the right side of the field. Off the head of junior defender Karina Rodriguez and then the foot of Castaneda, the ball dropped to the floor, where an Oregon State defender miscleared it for an own goal.
“We’ve had a lot of goals just waiting to be scored this season,” said senior defender Sunny Dunphy. “We’ve been not unlucky, but unlucky. Today, the floodgates finally opened.”
Prior to Thursday, the Beavers had not allowed more than two goals in a single game.
“We did a really good job of applying our scout and realizing when it was the time to step up and when it was time to drop off,” said senior defender Kaiya McCullough. “I thought we did a good job of being plugged in for 90 minutes, which has been something we’ve struggled a little bit with.”
UCLA will finish its trip north against Oregon on Sunday.