Women’s soccer continues tournament run with Minnesota matchup
Redshirt junior Chloe Castaneda said the Bruins will be facing a physical attack from the Golden Gophers on Friday. Castaneda has posted three goals and four assists in 10 games started. (Alice Naland/Daily Bruin)
Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Wallis Annenburg Stadium
UCLA Live Stream 3
By Samuel In
Nov. 16, 2018 1:33 a.m.
The Bruins will continue their run in the NCAA tournament against a top scorer.
No. 2-seeded UCLA women’s soccer (15-3-1) will face Minnesota (12-8-2) in the second round of the NCAA tournament Friday.
Minnesota was the Big 10 champion and advanced to the second round of the national championship after beating Auburn 2-0 on the road.
The Bruins are seeded higher than Minnesota, but junior goalkeeper Teagan Micah said the Bruins are aware of the threat any team that reaches the tournament possesses.
“We’re expecting a very athletic team,” Micah said. “You can’t knock off any team in the tournament now.”
Forward April Bockin is Minnesota’s leading scorer. Bockin also leads the Big 10 in scoring with 13 goals this season.
Midfielder Molly Fielder is the second-leading scorer. She has three goals but also leads her team with eight assists this season.
Despite the duo’s scoring ability, Micah said the Bruins are confident in their ability to defend Bockin.
“A lot of their attack comes from one or two particular personnel,” Micah said. “I think (sophomore defender) Karina (Rodriguez) and (junior defender) Kaiya (McCullough) have been in excellent form. They’ll both be able to get that done.”
The UCLA defense is holding opponents to 0.79 goals per game and have had nine clean sheets this season.
The Bruins are coming off a 5-0 win against San Jose State in which four different players combined to score five goals. They will face a Minnesota defense that has posted four straight clean sheets and 10 clean sheets overall.
Redshirt junior Chloe Castaneda said that the Bruin offense matches up well against the Minnesota defense.
“Our team has had over 12 different goal-scorers, so we have the exact opposite skill set and I think that is to our advantage,” Castaneda said.
UCLA has had 15 different goal-scorers this season. Although none of the Bruins have individually scored as many goals as Bockin, UCLA has outscored Minnesota with 49 goals to 31 goals, respectively.
Coach Amanda Cromwell believes sophomore forward Ashley Sanchez will play a major role in the success of their offense.
“She’s such a spark plug,” Cromwell said. “You have to defend her with a lot of cover and with numbers. If she’s drawing a lot of attention, that’ll open up things for other players.”
Sanchez is UCLA’s leading scorer this season with 10 goals. She also has had a goal or an assist for the Bruins in each of her last 10 games, and accumulated seven goals and five assists in the past seven games. UCLA has not lost a game when Sanchez has a goal or an assist.
UCLA will play Minnesota in the second round of the NCAA tournament at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Wallis Annenberg Stadium. The winner of the second round matchup will face the winner of the match between No. 3-seeded Santa Clara and North Carolina State.