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Women’s soccer secures last-minute win over Iowa in 2nd round of NCAA tournament

Freshman forward Reilyn Turner led No. 3 seed UCLA women’s soccer with nine goals in the regular season and was the Bruins’ hero Friday, scoring twice in the final six minutes to send the blue and gold to the third round of the Division I NCAA tournament. (David Rimer/Daily Bruin staff)

Women’s Soccer

No. 3 seed UCLA2

By Diego Farinha

April 30, 2021 2:44 p.m.

This post was updated May 2 at 11:09 p.m.

After being minutes away from elimination, the Bruins are through to the round of 16 for the fifth consecutive season thanks to freshman forward Reilyn Turner’s brace.

No. 3 seed UCLA women’s soccer (13-1-2, 9-1-1 Pac-12) avoided an upset at the hands of Iowa (7-9-1, 2-8-1 Big Ten) with a 2-1 victory in the second round of the 2020 Division I NCAA tournament Friday afternoon in Buies Creek, North Carolina. After conceding a goal in the match’s opening six minutes, the Bruins netted two of their own in the final six of the 90 to dispatch of their Big Ten champion opponents.

“This team really does not like to lose,” said redshirt senior defender Jacey Pederson. “We’ve shown that we are in the game until the very end a couple of times this past season. Those have been good precursors to how resilient and how passionate we are.”

The Bruins failed to test Iowa goalkeeper Macy Enneking for nearly the entire second half, but at the 84:47 mark, Turner saved the Bruins from elimination by netting the first of her two goals in the match’s final minutes.

Turner’s equalizing goal came after a flick from freshman midfielder Aislynn Crowder put the forward in on goal, and her shot trickled through the legs of the keeper and into the back of the net for her team-leading 10th goal on the year. Only four minutes and 43 seconds later, Turner settled a cross from Pederson at the top of the box and did the rest, scoring her second goal of the afternoon and giving her team a round of 16 berth.

“After I scored my first goal everyone exploded, the bench exploded because we knew we were in it,” Turner said. “Scoring the second goal, going one up on them, it was awesome knowing we secured our spot with 30 seconds left.”

After scoring in the fourth minute in their first tournament match, the Hawkeyes wasted no time in getting on the board against the Bruins. Minutes after a close-range header by midfielder Hailey Rydberg was saved by redshirt junior goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy, Iowa’s leading scorer forward Meike Ingles slotted home a right-footed strike in the sixth minute to give her team the early lead.

Ingles’ goal marked the third consecutive match in which the Bruins have conceded the contest’s first score.

“(For) a bit of the first half, we were still on the plane,” said coach Amanda Cromwell. “You could tell we hadn’t played in a while. We had legs of travel fatigue and mental fatigue. They did well to get a goal in the first 10 minutes and defended very well.”

One of UCLA’s best first-half scoring opportunities came from an interchange between Crowder and senior midfielder Delanie Sheehan, but Crowder’s final product was wide of the right post. Three minutes later, a shot from Turner beat Enneking but could not beat the post.

In the opening 45, the Bruins accumulated six corners and 11 shots but only forced two saves out of Enneking, including on a header from sophomore forward Mia Fishel in the half’s dying seconds.

UCLA’s attacking pressure continued after the break, registering three more shots in the period’s first 15 minutes.

Rydberg nearly doubled Iowa’s lead as her shot from far beyond the box nearly found the back of the net but floated over Brzykcy’s far post.

Though the Bruins dominated possession in the Hawkeyes’ defensive half for the final 20 minutes, the Hawkeyes prevented any clear cracks at goal until the 85th minute.

“We’re always that team that is resilient in creating chances,” Cromwell said. “Leave it to us for waiting until the last five minutes of the game.”

UCLA’s third-round matchup will be at 3 p.m. on Wednesday against No. 14 seed Clemson.

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Diego Farinha | Sports staff
Farinha is currently a Sports staffer on the softball beat. He was previously a reporter on the women's soccer beat.
Farinha is currently a Sports staffer on the softball beat. He was previously a reporter on the women's soccer beat.
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