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Women’s soccer edges out Washington with corner-kick goal in final minutes

Sophomore midfielder Maricarmen Reyes scored the game-winning goal for No. 18 UCLA women’s soccer against Washington on Thursday night. Reyes made just her second appearance this year after suffering a knee injury last season. (Lauren Man/Daily Bruin)

By Jacqueline Dzwonczyk

Oct. 25, 2019 1:17 am

It took three consecutive corner kicks in the 87th minute for the Bruins to break through.

After the first two were blocked, sophomore midfielder Maricarmen Reyes retreated to the far post unmarked and raised her hands in the air, asking for the ball.

And following a failed clearance and a series of quick passes, she got it. As her volley crossed the goal line, she turned and sprinted to celebrate with her teammates, tears in her eyes.

The goal was Reyes’ first since coming back from a torn meniscus last season.

“I was crying, I mean, it’s been so long and I felt like everything I had worked for paid off,” Reyes said. “I was just excited to be back on the field, getting an opportunity to come back after an injury.”

With three minutes left in regulation, the goal gave No. 18 UCLA women’s soccer (10-4-1, 4-3 Pac-12) a 1-0 win over Washington (9-4-2, 5-2-0) at Wallis Annenberg Stadium on Thursday night. After Thursday’s clash between the Washington schools and the LA schools – the four teams sitting behind first place Stanford in the Pac-12 rankings prior to Thursday’s matches – UCLA moved up one spot to fourth place.

UCLA’s front line came out strong, outshooting Washington eight to three in the first half and drawing two free kicks in the offensive third. But despite the discrepancy in shots, the Bruins couldn’t find the back of the net.

“We need to be more deceptive – I think some things we were doing were too predictable,” said coach Amanda Cromwell. “We wanted to move people around and make it difficult to defend us and see what personnel can do in different spots.”

The first adjustment was the entrance of junior forward Ashley Sanchez in the 34th minute, and the next was Reyes in the 42nd. The duo later linked up for the 87th-minute goal, with Sanchez sending the cross to Reyes.

Reyes was subbed out at halftime, when freshman defender Brianne Riley came in at outside back, shifting junior defender Karina Rodriguez to center midfield.

The shift to center midfield marked Rodriguez’s fourth position in less than two years. She was the Bruins’ starting center back a season ago, before moving to left back this year and then started at outside midfield on Oct. 6.

“I think everyone on the field is very versatile,” Rodriguez said. “Just giving the other team something different to look at since everyone brings different qualities; … it’s just about everyone wanting to play wherever on the field and just doing their best.”

Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy started in place of senior goalkeeper Teagan Micah and logged three saves on Washington’s three shots on goal. Cromwell said the decision to start Brzykcy was based on the skill set of the Huskies’ front line.

Cromwell confirmed that Micah will start Sunday against No. 19 Washington State and said the Bruins will be looking for revenge after losing to the Cougars in each of the past two seasons.

“USC gave (Washington State) a beating today, so they’re going to be coming in with a chip on their shoulder,” Cromwell said. “But we also have a little chip on our shoulder from the last two years.”

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Jacqueline Dzwonczyk | Sports senior staff
Dzwonczyk is currently a Sports senior staff writer. She was previously an assistant Sports editor for the women's basketball, women's soccer, beach volleyball, men's golf and women's golf beats. Dzwonczyk was previously a staff writer on the women's soccer, beach volleyball and women's tennis beats.
Dzwonczyk is currently a Sports senior staff writer. She was previously an assistant Sports editor for the women's basketball, women's soccer, beach volleyball, men's golf and women's golf beats. Dzwonczyk was previously a staff writer on the women's soccer, beach volleyball and women's tennis beats.
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