In Senior Day match against Washington State, women’s soccer wins 2-1
Freshman forward Mia Fishel scored the go-ahead goal for No. 18 UCLA women’s soccer over No. 19 Washington State in the 85th minute Sunday. Fishel leads the Bruins with eight goals, including a team-high four game-winners. (Alice Naland/Daily Bruin staff)
|No. 19 Washington State||1|
|No. 18 UCLA||2|
By Cassidy Hunt
Oct. 27, 2019 11:58 pm
The Bruins overcame a halftime deficit for their fifth conference win.
No. 18 UCLA women’s soccer (11-4-1, 5-3-0 Pac-12) defeated No. 19 Washington State (10-5-1, 3-4-1) for the first time in three years on its Senior Day on Sunday. Despite entering halftime trailing the Cougars, the Bruins scored twice in the second half to secure the victory.
“I think we all had a really great game today,” said redshirt senior forward Anika Rodriguez. “If someone made any mistake, she had one, two, three or four people behind her cleaning it up, fixing it. Overall we had a really great team effort and that’s all I can ask for on my Senior Day.”
The Bruins kept control of the ball for the majority of the first 30 minutes of the match, posting five shots in the time it took the Cougars to post one.
But at the half-hour mark, Washington State substituted forward Mackenzie Frimpong-Ellertson and midfielder Shayna Whieldon onto the pitch from the bench. Within three minutes, the Cougars recorded five shots of their own and scored their first and only goal of the day off a Bruin turnover.
Freshman forward Mia Fishel tripped over the ball and lost control, allowing the Cougars a shot. Senior defender Kaiya McCullough’s header failed to fully clear the ball, sending it straight to Frimpong-Ellertson’s right foot for a Washington State goal.
That was the last shot the Cougars would take in the first half.
“We really did have a good first half,” said coach Amanda Cromwell. “We just had a five-minute span where we weren’t good. Good teams will capitalize on mistakes and that’s what happened. For that five-minute span, we had to be better – by keeping the ball in the first place.”
UCLA kept the ball in its possession for the majority of its second-half comeback.
The Bruins found the back of the net for the first time in the 54th minute, when sophomore midfielder Maricarmen Reyes sent the ball forward to Rodriguez, who slid it through the legs of a Cougar defender to junior forward Ashley Sanchez, who knotted up the score at 1-1.
“We came into (the game) knowing we needed to move the ball quickly,” Rodriguez said. “We saw us do that quite a bit in the second half and I think that’s how we created most of our chances. We moved the ball quickly, got it off our foot fast and trusted our teammates to do their jobs.”
Sanchez nearly scored again less than two minutes later, but her attempt was caught high by goalkeeper Ella Dederick. The junior recorded a total of six shots in the contest, which ties for her individual season high.
UCLA did not score its go-ahead goal until the 85th minute, when Fishel followed the ball on a breakaway to send it past Dederick. Once again, Rodriguez provided the assist.
“(The Washington State defensive line) was behind me and there was a wide open space,” Fishel said. “I started dribbling diagonally toward the goal and I just really hoped (Rodriguez) saw me – and she did – and I finished. We wanted to score and win for the seniors on Senior Day, so it was very emotional for us and I’m glad (Rodriguez) assisted.”
The goal was Fishel’s eighth of the season, making the freshman the Bruins’ leading goal scorer. She also leads in game-winners with four.
UCLA recorded 19 shots in the match and created 10 corner kicks, while Washington State posted only nine shots and took just two corners.
“They have speed, they have athleticism, they have strong, physical players,” Cromwell said. “They like to get in behind us, but we saw where we needed to be stronger and we did.”
The Bruins will travel to Oregon for two conference matches Oct. 31 and Nov. 3.