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Bruins in Paris

Sunshine Fontes hat trick leads UCLA women’s soccer in 6-0 victory over CSUN

Senior forward Sunshine Fontes dribbles the ball down the field. Fontes collected her first career hat trick Thursday, scoring three goals against Cal State Northridge. (Eden Yu/Daily Bruin)

Women's Soccer

Cal State Northridge0
No. 6 UCLA6

By Jay Fenn

Aug. 26, 2022 1:56 p.m.

Four months ago, coach Margueritte Aozasa was asked to name one player that’s impressed her the most in the offseason – and she quickly said Sunshine Fontes.

On Thursday, the senior forward showed why.

[Related: Q&A: Margueritte Aozasa discusses recent appointment as UCLA women’s soccer coach]

Behind Fontes’ first career hat trick, No. 6 UCLA women’s soccer (2-0) defeated Cal State Northridge (1-2) by a score of 6-0 at Wallis Annenberg Stadium. The six goals are the most the Bruins have scored in one game since 2018.

Fontes got the scoring started in the 11th minute after she dribbled through a quartet of Matadors and fired a shot into the upper left corner of the goal to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead. Just 11 minutes later, the senior added her second of the match after she fired a rebounded pass into the opposite top corner to put the blue and gold up 3-0.

Aozasa said seeing Fontes score the way she did Thursday is nothing new to the Bruins.

“These are things that we see in training every single day, and she’s finally getting the chance to show it on the field,” Aozasa said. “We were so pleased. She’s been working super hard and it was nice to see it.”

Fontes would complete the hat trick in the 60th minute after she took a free kick from outside the box and drilled the shot back into the upper left corner.

Fontes said she owes a lot of her success to her teammates and coaches.

“It’s been a long journey, a lot of ups and down,” Fontes said. “They push me everyday to be better. It’s just credit to them because I wouldn’t have done that without them.”

On top of Fontes’ first career hat trick, the blue and gold also had freshman midfielder Sofia Cook and sophomore forward Lexi Wright score their first collegiate goals against the Matadors. Wright’s goal came in the 15th minute off a volley, while Cook’s came in the 77th minute after she corralled a loose ball and drilled a shot into the lower left corner.

Wright said scoring her first goal will help her going into the rest of the season.

“I feel like all the training and work we’ve been putting in finally paid off,” Wright said. “It (the goal) just boosted my confidence going into the season.”

UCLA was also able to find the back of the net Thursday via the head of junior defender Maya Evans. The California transfer intercepted a corner kick 71 seconds into the second half and headed it in for her first goal as a member of the blue and gold.

Aozasa said the Bruins are trying to use their height to their advantage when it comes to corner kicks.

“We’ve got some tall people in there,” Aozasa said. “It’s definitely something we’ve been focusing on. Hopefully it’ll continue to get better and better through the year, but there was a little glimpse of what we could do on set pieces.”

The victory comes at the forefront of a grueling stretch for the blue and gold. On Sunday, UCLA will take on Santa Clara – the 2020 national champion – before traveling to North Carolina to take on No. 5 Duke and No. 1 North Carolina.

Aozasa said a dominant victory like the one Thursday instills a lot of confidence into the Bruins.

“Sometimes the best thing you can do especially as an attacking team is just scoring goals,” Aozasa said. “Hopefully we’ll just continue to build on that experience and take some momentum into the next three games.”

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Jay Fenn | Sports staff
Fenn is currently a Sports staffer on the baseball beat. He was previously a reporter on the women's soccer beat and a contributor on the beach volleyball and men's and women's golf beats.
Fenn is currently a Sports staffer on the baseball beat. He was previously a reporter on the women's soccer beat and a contributor on the beach volleyball and men's and women's golf beats.
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