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No. 4 UCLA women’s soccer upsets No. 1 Florida State 2-1

Senior midfielder Jessie Fleming notched both goals for No. 4 UCLA women’s soccer in the first half. Fleming was away on national team duty when the Bruins fell to the Seminoles 4-1 in September. (Joy Hong/Daily Bruin senior staff)

By Cassidy Hunt

Aug. 29, 2019 8:33 p.m.

This post was updated August 29 at 9:03 p.m.

When the Bruins lost 4-1 to the Seminoles last year, Jessie Fleming was away with the Canadian national team.

This year she was on the field. And all over the box score.

No. 4 UCLA women’s soccer (3-0-0) upset No. 1 Florida State (2-1-0) – the reigning NCAA champions – 2-1 on Thursday night at Banc of California Stadium, and the senior midfielder scored both goals.

“I obviously wish I could have been there (last year), but I’m just excited to be here with my team now,” Fleming said. “It was a positive game for us and we played really well as a team tonight so that’s going to be exciting going forward.”

Fleming struck early, scoring her first goal of the season in the 14th minute of the match with help from junior defender Karina Rodriguez and freshman forward Mia Fishel, who connected a series of passes to set Fleming up inside the penalty box.

After Fleming’s goal, UCLA began to maintain control. Just over 20 minutes after her first goal, Fleming scored again, this time off an assist from junior forward Ashley Sanchez – who has earned a point in every game since Sept. 30, 2018, giving her a 16-game point-scoring streak.

“Tactically, we executed our game plan – that’s what you hope as a coach when you’ve prepared all week,” said coach Amanda Cromwell.  “Honestly, I thought we could have scored a few more goals.”

The physicality on the field increased in the second half, with the Bruins recording five fouls and the Seminoles notching four. Two UCLA players and one from Florida State were given yellow cards over the course of the match.

The Bruins rotated in substitutes from the bench as players began to tire from the rough play.

“It wasn’t as pretty in the second half as we would have liked,” Cromwell said. “But good teams find a way to win.”

Junior midfielder Delanie Sheehan’s foul in the 76th minute earned her a yellow card and gave Florida State a free kick, which was taken by forward/midfielder Jenna Nighswonger.

“I was surprised by the yellow card given to (Sheehan),” Cromwell said. “They were both arm-and-arm, and the call gave (the Seminoles) the free kick that led to their goal. I was pretty upset about that because that’s never a foul – two players battling for position, going shoulder-to-shoulder.”

The kick was sent to midfielder Jaelin Howell, whose shot to the upper left corner was out of senior goalkeeper Teagan Micah’s reach.

Micah said even with the goal, she was confident in the Bruins’ ability to finish out the match.

“I thought I had it … so I was slightly disappointed in that,” Micah said. “But I knew that we still had it in us to get the win.”

Florida State was unable to notch another goal to send the game to overtime.

After upsetting the top team in the country, UCLA will return to Wallis Annenberg Stadium on Sunday to play unranked Florida.

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Cassidy Hunt | Sports staff
Hunt is currently a Sports staff writer on the softball and women's soccer beats. She was previously a reporter on the gymnastics, women's water polo and swim & dive beats.
Hunt is currently a Sports staff writer on the softball and women's soccer beats. She was previously a reporter on the gymnastics, women's water polo and swim & dive beats.
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