Thursday, February 20

UCLA women’s soccer advances to NCAA semifinals with win over Florida State


Redshirt senior forward Chloe Castaneda put No. 2 seed UCLA women's soccer up early over No. 1 seed Florida State, scoring two goals in the first 20 minutes of play. (Alice Naland/Daily Bruin staff)


Women's soccer


No. 2 seed UCLA4
No. 1 seed Florida State0

This post was updated Nov. 30 at 2:20 p.m.

Chloe Castaneda hadn’t scored a goal until Oct. 31.

But after the redshirt senior forward scored once, the floodgates opened.

No. 2 seed UCLA women’s soccer (18-4-1, 8-3-0 Pac-12) upset No. 1 seed Florida State (18-6-0, 8-2 ACC) by a score of 4-0 on Friday to secure a spot in the NCAA 2019 DI Women’s College Cup semifinals in San Jose, California. Castaneda scored twice in the opening 20 minutes to give the Bruins an early lead, and freshman forward Mia Fishel tacked on two goals of her own.

“We played a fantastic Florida State team that is so well-coached and organized,” said coach Amanda Cromwell. “We knew from playing them earlier in the season that it would be a tactical battle and a bit of a chess match. From that game to now, you can see how much we’ve progressed.”

UCLA’s go-ahead goal came when Fishel headed the ball to the center of the Seminole box, where Castaneda received it and sent it past goalkeeper Caroline Jeffers to the back of the net.

Castaneda’s second goal came 10 minutes later when she received a long ball out of the air from redshirt senior forward Anika Rodriguez and beat a Seminole defender to score again.

“(Scoring early) helps so much and it makes the other team have to chase and get a little bit more direct at times,” Cromwell said. “I think we defended well and limited some dangerous shots.”

Castaneda has scored all five of her goals this season in UCLA’s last seven matches as well as logging four assists in that span.

Last season, Castaneda scored four of her five goals in the last seven games of the season – two of which were in the postseason.

Fishel wasn’t on the Bruin squad last year. But just like Castaneda, she came alive when it counted.

In the 32nd minute, Fishel received a pass around the FSU backline and charged the goal, but Jeffers blocked the first attempt with a slide. Fishel was able to regain possession and follow up with a shot into the back of an empty net to extend the Bruins’ lead to 3-0.

Fishel also scored the only goal of the second half when she headed a corner kick from junior midfielder Viviana Villacorta into the back of the net without allowing the Seminoles to make contact.

“Before the game, even before the flight, we were all into the game,” Fishel said. “When the whistle blew, we were all in.”

With 14 goals, Fishel leads the Bruins in scoring and has found the back of the net five times in three matches this week.

Friday’s match was the second time this season that UCLA has taken on the reigning 2018 NCAA champions and won.

“At this point, anyone can win at all and I think we’ve shown we’re on the right track,” Cromwell said.

The Bruins have scored 15 goals in four matches so far this postseason, while allowing just one – against Lamar in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

UCLA will return to the College Cup for the second time in three years when it takes on the winner of No. 1 seed Stanford vs. No. 2 seed BYU in the NCAA semifinal Dec. 6 at 6:30 p.m. PST.

“It’s amazing to be going back (to the College Cup) for my final year,” Castaneda said. “It’s amazing getting that shutout against (the Seminoles). And, coming back to the College Cup, especially in our home state, is awesome.”

 

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Sports staff

Hunt is currently a Sports staff writer on the gymnastics beat. She was previously a reporter on the women's soccer, women's water polo and swim & dive beats.


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