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UCLA women’s soccer hopes to achieve shutouts for the rest of the NCAA tournament

Junior defender Lucy Parker has scored three goals from the backline for No. 2 seed UCLA women’s soccer this season. UCLA will have a chance to extend its postseason run against Clemson on Friday night. (Axel Lopez/Daily Bruin senior staff)

By Cassidy Hunt

Nov. 20, 2019 1:59 a.m.

The Bruins said they need to improve before they enter their next postseason competition.

No. 2 seed UCLA women’s soccer (15-4-1, 8-3-0 Pac-12) ended Lamar University’s (16-7, 10-1 Southland Conference) season Friday night in the first round of the NCAA tournament. In their 4-1 victory, the Bruins reached their season-high shots on target, 21, and allowed one goal in the 90th minute.

Coach Amanda Cromwell said she was disappointed that UCLA did not earn a clean sheet, as it has 10 times this season.

“We’ve got to get shutouts,” Cromwell said. “We just have to do better at taking care of the ball.”

The Cardinals’ only goal was scored with 89 minutes, 11 seconds on the clock, when the fourth-highest scoring player in the country, forward Lucy Ashworth, capitalized on a counterattack opportunity.

If the Bruins had blocked the shot, they would have recorded their 11th shutout in 20 games this year and started the postseason with a clean sheet win for the second straight year.

Cromwell said the whole team was responsible for Lamar’s last-minute goal, so every Bruin needs to make changes before the next match.

“(The Cardinal goal-scorer) was a left-footed player,” Cromwell said. “We saw her use her left foot the whole game, … and we let her use her left foot. However, before that we had a bad turnover that led to that counterattack, so our attack is just as culpable on those plays.”

The Bruins tallied their season-high shots, 33, against the Cardinals. Their previous high, 27, was recorded in last week’s 4-2 victory over USC.

Despite posting 21 shots on target against Lamar, UCLA found the back of the net four times, giving them a .190 scoring percentage against Cardinal goalkeeper Erin Branch. In contrast, Lamar scored on one of its three shots on goal, giving the Cardinals a .333 scoring percentage.

Sophomore midfielder Maricarmen Reyes said the Bruins had trouble getting past Branch.

“(Branch) had a great game,” Reyes said. “She blocked some shots that could’ve been goals. Going against her was tough, but my team was able to get around it a few times, and I’m grateful for that.”

Freshman forward Mia Fishel posted five shots, all of which were on target. Junior forward Ashley Sanchez recorded seven shots in the match, and redshirt senior forward Chloe Castaneda posted three. Six other Bruins had at least one shot in the competition.

Despite the Bruins tallying 19 shots and 3 goals in the first half alone, junior defender Lucy Parker said they felt they didn’t play as a team in that period.

“I think as a whole in the first half, we were a little disappointed,” Parker said. “We could have scored a lot more goals if we had just been a little less selfish with our play.”

UCLA will continue its postseason run Friday at 8 p.m. when it hosts its next opponent, Clemson, in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

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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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