Women’s soccer advances to NCAA third round after creaming Clemson in shutout
Freshman forward Mia Fishel scored two goals in No. 2 seed UCLA women’s soccer’s win over Clemson at home Friday night. Fishel leads the team with 11 goals in her debut season. (MacKenzie Coffman/Daily Bruin senior staff)
|No. 2 seed UCLA||5|
By Cassidy Hunt
Nov. 22, 2019 10:11 p.m.
This post was updated Nov. 22 at 11:31 p.m.
The Bruins took control of the match early.
No. 2 seed UCLA women’s soccer (15-4-1, 8-3 Pac-12) scored five goals in its shutout over Clemson (11-6-2, 5-5 ACC) on Friday night at Wallis Annenberg Stadium to pick up its second postseason victory. The Bruins logged four of their five goals in the first half alone – the most they’ve scored in a half this season.
“We were coming out sharp and getting ready to roll,” said coach Amanda Cromwell. “When you have good attacking players, you get chances early, and we have really good attacking players.”
UCLA opened the scoring in the fifth minute when freshman forward Mia Fishel received a pass from redshirt senior forward Chloe Castaneda from across the box and made a sliding shot that flew over the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
The goal was Fishel’s 10th of the season.
“We were focused on trying to break down this team,” Fishel said. “We were creating more space and getting more players on the ball. (We use) every opportunity we get and make sure to capitalize and follow it through.”
Three different Bruins scored in a span of less than 11 minutes, starting in the 31st minute when redshirt senior forward Anika Rodriguez was tripped by Clemson midfielder Kimber Haley, who received a yellow card.
Freshman forward Kali Trevithick replaced Rodriguez on the field and sent the free kick to junior forward Ashley Sanchez, who shot the ball to the center of the box, where junior defender Lucy Parker headed it over goalkeeper Sandy Maciver’s outstretched hands.
Sanchez scored a goal of her own less than six minutes later on a shot that bounced off the right goalpost and back into the net, without being touched by a Tiger player.
UCLA’s last goal of the half came less than four minutes before halftime, when Sanchez and senior defender Sunny Dunphy assisted Trevithick to score her second goal of the season.
Trevithick, who spent more than two months recovering from an injury earlier this season, said she was motivated to help her team now that she has returned to the Bruins’ roster.
“I’ve been trying to get on the ball more since coming back,” Trevithick said. “I’ve been getting my confidence back, and I’ve got some great encouragement from my teammates, and I’m so happy to be back, with a goal and an assist, too.”
At halftime, the Bruins’ four goals on seven shots on target was good for a .571 first-half scoring percentage.
UCLA’s final goal came in the 75th minute, when Fishel scored for the 11th time this season – a team high – with a shot to the bottom right corner that could not be stopped by Maciver.
Sanchez’s two assists brought her season total to 14, the most of any Bruin this year, and her goal was the junior’s seventh of the season – second only to Fishel.
Every available player on the Bruin roster played in Friday’s match, with the exception of sophomore goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy, Cromwell said.
With the win, UCLA will host No. 3 seed Wisconsin on Sunday at 4 p.m. in the third round of the NCAA tournament.
“Wisconsin is going to be a lot of the same,” Cromwell said. “(They have) a very organized defense, so we need to finish well like we did tonight. Last time we played them, we were playing a different formation than we are now. It was a long time ago, and we are more dynamic now. It feels like an entirely different season.”