UCLA keeps opponents scoreless, looks to continue win streak in conference play
Sophomore defender Karina Rodriguez scored her first career goal Sunday. She played in 25 matches over the course of the 2017 season. (Axel Lopez/Assistant Photo editor)
By Cassidy Hunt
September 16, 2018 11:06 pm
The Bruins have not allowed a goal in three straight games.
No. 8 UCLA women’s soccer (5-1-1) defeated San Diego State University (2-6) 3-0 on Sunday night on the road.
“We definitely pride ourselves on having good defense, so it’s awesome to get shutouts,” said senior forward Hailie Mace. “It’s great that we can keep it up.”
UCLA maintained possession of the ball for the majority of the first half. Despite four early shots on goal, including an attempt by sophomore midfielder Olivia Athens that bounced off the right goalpost, the Bruins did not find the back of the net until their fifth try.
Senior forward Anika Rodriguez assisted Mace to send the ball past the Aztecs goalkeeper, Gabby English, in the 28th minute.
“(Rodriguez) got the ball and nailed it across the line,” Mace said. “It got through everyone and all I had to do was tap it in. It was great teamwork.”
Sophomore defender Karina Rodriguez scored her first career goal off an assist by Mace with less than 60 seconds left in the first half to extend the halftime lead to 2-0.
“It feels really great to have scored my first career goal,” Karina Rodriguez said. “I didn’t get to score my freshman year, and everyone has been really supportive. Having my sister by my side has been especially awesome.”
The Bruins racked up 10 shots on goal in the first half and forced five saves from English in the process.
Sophomore forward Delanie Sheehan netted her second goal 27 seconds after halftime. UCLA had 20 total shots before the end of the game, while SDSU failed to record a single shot on goal in the Bruins’ 3-0 victory.
“It’s been hard against some of these teams, they defend really well,” said coach Amanda Cromwell. “I think we’ve done a great job of being creative and scoring different ways and incorporating a lot of different players like we did again tonight.”
The Bruins will return home to Wallis Annenberg Stadium on Friday to play their first Pac-12 conference game of the season against the No. 16 Washington State Cougars (7-0).
“We don’t have as many home games as we’d like,” said Mace. “The home fans definitely give us energy, so we are excited to be back.”
This will be the first time UCLA takes on a ranked opponent since its loss to No. 2 Florida State (7-1-1) on Sept. 2.
“All of our games so far have helped us prepare for the Pac-12 conference, which I believe is the best conference in the country,” Cromwell said. “We have to be a little sharper in different areas of the game because these next teams are going to force us to up the ante.”