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UCLA women’s soccer continues undefeated season start in victory over Santa Clara

Senior forward Sunshine Fontes dribbles the ball away from Broncos defense. Fontes scored UCLA’s lone goal Sunday to defeat Santa Clara in their first road game of the season. (Eden Yu/Daily Bruin)

Women's Soccer

No. 6 UCLA1
Santa Clara0

By Diego Farinha

Aug. 29, 2022 12:48 p.m.

In a return to her alma mater, coach Margueritte Aozasa bested her former head coach.

In their first road game of the season, No. 6 UCLA women’s soccer (3-0) continued its undefeated start to the year with a 1-0 victory over Santa Clara (1-3). A 12th minute strike from senior forward Sunshine Fontes – her fourth goal of the campaign – proved the difference between the two teams Sunday afternoon.

From 2008 to 2011, Aozasa played as a defender under Jerry Smith, who is still at the helm for the Broncos today.

“It was the coolest feeling,” Aozasa said. “We (Smith and I) looked at each other and were like, ‘This is just a cool moment.’ So it was a great homecoming.”

Though the Broncos held the lion’s share of possession in the early minutes of the game, the Bruins were first on the board. Freshman midfielder Ally Lemos found Fontes atop the 18-yard box, and the forward did the rest by finding the bottom left corner of the net.

Following a hat-trick Thursday against CSUN, Fontes added to her season tally of four after missing out on the scoresheet last year.

“Last season I didn’t play as big of a role as I wanted to, or I hoped for,” Fontes said. “So this year, just stepping up and being able to be an impact player for this team, it’s exciting.”

Lemos nearly orchestrated another goal by playing a lobbed through ball to junior forward Reilyn Turner within the box, but Turner’s attempt was unsuccessful and she was unable to double UCLA’s lead.

The Bruins nearly capitalized on counter-attack through the link-up play of junior midfielder Michaela Rosenbaum and freshman midfielder Sofia Cook. After receiving the ball on the left wing, Cook forced a save from the Broncos goalkeeper with a right-footed strike. Sophomore forward Lexi Wright redirected the rebound into the back of the net, but was ruled for being in an offside position.

At the half, the Bruins held a slim advantage in shots on goal, having recorded four shots to the Broncos’ three.

The defensive battle continued into the second half as UCLA and Santa Clara added four and three shots, respectively, in the final 45 minutes. Cook came within inches of extending the Bruins’ lead with an effort in the 66th minute that was denied by the post.

“She has a huge presence on the field, especially when she comes on as a substitute,” Lemos said. “I really like playing with her because it’s kind of a tiki-taka type of thing. We have a lot of chemistry on the field and I think that really helps.”

The Bruins managed to shut out the Broncos for the final 24 minutes, extending their season’s clean sheet streak to 270 minutes.

Fontes said that their defense will help them in their upcoming two-game North Carolina campaign.

“We knew this was going to be a defensive game,” Fontes said. “It was a great win, although we didn’t have the ball as much as we wanted. Defense wins championships. So this game will prepare us for Duke and North Carolina next week and throughout the season.”

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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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