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After loss, women’s soccer conveys need to capitalize on scoring opportunities

Freshman forward Mia Fishel logged two of the Bruins’ nine shots in No. 16 UCLA women’s soccer’s loss to No. 2 Stanford on Saturday. Not one of the shots was on goal, and the match was the first time since Oct. 6 that Fishel was held scoreless. (Daanish Bhatti/Daily Bruin)

By Matthew Kenney

Oct. 22, 2019 12:58 a.m.

The Cardinal shut out the Bruins in a way no team had in nearly 20 years.

No. 16 UCLA women’s soccer (9-4-1, 3-3 Pac-12) went scoreless for the third time this season in its 1-0 loss to No. 2 Stanford (13-1-0, 6-0). For the first time since its 1999 match against Santa Clara, UCLA did not record a shot on goal.

“We had scoring opportunities that we needed to get on frame,” said coach Amanda Cromwell. “We weren’t great in key moments at making them make a save. That was the difference in the game, really.”

Entering the match, the Bruins were averaging about 7.8 shots on goal per game. Half of UCLA’s total shots were shots on goal, a drop from last year’s .542 mark but higher than Stanford’s .459 mark.

The Bruins took nine shots against the Cardinal on Saturday, all of which either missed the frame entirely or were stopped by a Stanford defender before forcing the goalkeeper to make a save. The Cardinal connected on their first shot on goal in the 18th minute, which proved to be the difference in the match, and finished with four shots on goal overall.

The last time UCLA were held without a shot on goal was in the third round of the NCAA tournament, marking a span of 463 games since its 7-0 loss to Santa Clara. The Bruins took just two shots overall compared to 20 shots and 15 shots on goal by the Broncos.

UCLA kept the score closer Saturday, but similarly struggled to break through on offense, taking two shots in the first half. The Bruins forced the ball into Cardinal territory more often in the second half, with seven shots and four corner kicks, but still could not find a way to finish.

“It was tougher in the first half because we just didn’t keep the ball well,” Cromwell said. “But once we had control of the ball, the second half was quite good. You could even say that we were the more attacking team in the second half.”

The Cardinal have consistently kept opponents from getting clean shots off this season, having allowed the fewest shots on goal in the Pac-12 with 28. Saturday’s game marked the sixth time that Stanford has held an opponent to one shot on goal or fewer, including three times in Pac-12 play.

However, senior goalkeeper Teagan Micah said the Cardinal were not the reason for the Bruins’ scoring problems.

“It wasn’t (Stanford’s) defense,” Micah said. “We had a lot of scoring opportunities and we didn’t capitalize on them.”

Freshman forward Mia Fishel led UCLA in shots Saturday with two, but both failed to reach the goalkeeper. Fishel said while the Cardinal defense was a factor in the outcome, the Bruins did not capitalize on critical moments when Stanford made mistakes.

“I think it’s kind of both, but we definitely had opportunities to score,” Fishel said. “We need to get better at scoring when they do give us a chance.”

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Matthew Kenney | Alumnus
Kenney joined the Bruin as a sophomore in 2017 and contributed until he graduated in 2020. He spent time on the baseball, softball, men's soccer, women's soccer, track and field and cross country beats.
Kenney joined the Bruin as a sophomore in 2017 and contributed until he graduated in 2020. He spent time on the baseball, softball, men's soccer, women's soccer, track and field and cross country beats.
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