UCLA women’s soccer kicks off road trip with win against California
Senior midfielder Marley Canales got the Bruins on the board in the fourth minute when she scored directly from a corner kick, en route to a 3-1 win over California for No. 4 UCLA women’s soccer. (David Rimer/Daily Bruin staff)
|No. 4 UCLA||3|
April 9, 2021 3:47 p.m.
BERKELEY — The Bruins are one win away from a Pac-12 title.
No. 4 UCLA women’s soccer (11-1-1, 8-1-0 Pac-12) defeated California 3-1 (5-5-1, 3-5-0) 3-1 on Friday afternoon in Berkeley following the Bruins’ fastest opening goal of the year. With the win, the Bruins only need one win in their final two matches against Stanford and USC to claim the conference title.
Sophomore forward Mia Fishel was in on goal with a one-on-one opportunity against Cal goalkeeper Angelina Anderson in the initial minutes, but her shot was saved and went out of play. On the resulting corner, senior midfielder Marley Canales struck a curved ball into the back of the net, scoring directly off the set piece to open the scoring.
“We got stretched a bit in the first half – we needed to be a bit more condensed defensively,” said coach Amanda Cromwell. “But we did an awesome job of getting up early with the corner kick and capitalizing on their mistakes, and then we got a hold of the ball more often as the half went on.”
The Bruins outshot the Golden Bears 8-3 in the match’s opening 45 minutes. Cal only tested redshirt junior goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy one time on a deflected shot in the 13th minute by midfielder Paige Metayer.
Right before halftime, in the 41st minute, Fishel capitalized on an errant pass from Anderson and proceeded to slot the ball into an empty net, recording her sixth goal of the campaign, doubling the Bruins’ lead. The sophomore celebrated her goal by pointing out the cheering UCLA fans applauding her effort from the hill overlooking Witter Rugby Field.
“I was pointing to all the fans who literally hiked a mountain to watch our game – I was pointing at them for coming to the game and supporting us,” Fishel said. “What was going through my mind was I had a breakaway in the first two minutes, so that was in my mind. I knew that the next opportunity I would get I was going to be super focused, so when she passed me the ball I was calm and collected and I just passed it into the goal.”
Out of the half, the blue and gold’s leading scorer, freshman forward Reilyn Turner had the opportunity to increase the lead following a back-heel pass from senior defender Karina Rodriguez, but her close-range effort sailed over the bar. Fishel had a chance to net a brace in the 60th minute, but her attempt from a tight angle was saved.
In the 72nd minute, Turner’s second shot of the second period resulted in her team-leading eighth goal on the year. Following a long ball from freshman midfielder Aislynn Crowder, Turner had time in the box alone with the goalkeeper and slotted the ball into the back of the net. The assist from Crowder marked her second of the season.
“Once I turned, because of my experience (playing) with Reilyn, I knew she was going to make that run and from there, it was all about the timing,” Crowder said. “The weight of the pass and her finish of course.”
California was able to grab a goal back five minutes after UCLA’s third following a long-distance strike from midfielder Keely Roy. Roy’s left-footed shot deflected off a Bruin defender before beating Brzykcy for the first goal conceded by the Bruins in the past three games.
UCLA will finish its Bay Area trip Sunday with a contest against Stanford, a team UCLA has not beaten since 2014. Kickoff is at 2 p.m.
“Any time you go to Stanford and get a win, it’s huge,” Cromwell said. “We know it’s going to be a great game. Just like Cal, they’re teams that are better than their records.”