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No. 3 UCLA women’s soccer conquers No. 1 North Carolina to complete road sweep

Sophomore forward Lexi Wright kicks the ball past Cal State Northridge defense. Wright scored UCLA’s first goal in their victory against North Carolina on Sunday. (Eden Yu/Daily Bruin)

Women's Soccer


No. 3 UCLA2
No. 1 North Carolina1

By Grace Whitaker

Sept. 5, 2022 11:11 a.m.

This post was updated Sept. 5 at 7:36 p.m.

With six minutes to play in regulation, the Bruins were in a deadlock with the top-ranked team in the nation.

Then, junior forward Reilyn Turner nabbed possession of the ball, barreled down the field and drove the ball into the net, seizing the lead.

The Bruins would not trail again.

No. 3 UCLA women’s soccer (5-0) defeated No. 1 North Carolina (5-1) 2-1 on Sunday, three days after defeating No. 2 Duke (5-1) on its two-game North Carolina road trip. The Bruins remain undefeated through five games and are slated to rise to the top spot in the national rankings.

Turner said she was grateful for the opportunity to score the game-winner but couldn’t have done it without the spacing and foresight of her teammates.

“I was lucky enough to be there, honestly,” Turner said. “I had a lot of space to work with, and my team was running with me.”

The first half of the game concluded without a score by either team, with each squad only accounting for one shot on goal. However, when the second half began, the Tar Heels kicked off the scoring.

Two minutes into the second half, forward Tori Dellaperuta dusted the back of the net with a header off a corner kick that landed North Carolina on the board.

Graduate student goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy – who collected four saves in Sunday’s game – said the team maintained confidence despite North Carolina’s goal.

“Even after they did score, we weren’t stressed,” Brzykcy said. “We weren’t worried. I just feel like we just tried to tell ourselves that we knew we were going to get that one back.”

Nearly 15 minutes later, sophomore forward Lexi Wright drilled the ball into the top right corner of the net after bobbing and weaving past two North Carolina defenders to bring UCLA its first score of the afternoon.

Coach Margueritte Aozasa said Wright has been making a name for herself this season.

“I think up until this year, no one really knew who she (Wright) was,” Aozasa said. “But that is quickly changing. She was lights out, I thought, against Duke, and then she brought it again today.”

The clock dwindled down as the score remained all tied up, until Turner set the ball in her possession traveling down the field with six minutes remaining. Course set on the goal, Turner found the back of the net, granting the Bruins their first lead of the match.

The ball wouldn’t sweep the back of the net for the remainder of the game.

The Bruins’ victory over the Tar Heels came three days after their win over the Blue Devils. UCLA held Duke to one goal while scoring two itself – one off the foot of Turner – to secure the victory over the No. 2-ranked team.

Aozasa said she enjoyed seeing her team’s hard work pay off over the weekend.

“It gives us a lot of confidence,” Aozasa said. “We came into this weekend, and I asked the team to just trust themselves, and I told them we can play with and against anyone in the country. And now it’s nice to see that that paid off.”

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Grace Whitaker | Sports senior staff
Whitaker is currently a senior staff writer on the football, men's basketball and women's basketball beats. She was previously an assistant Sports editor on the women's basketball, women's soccer, beach volleyball and cross country beats and a contributor on the women's basketball and beach volleyball beats.
Whitaker is currently a senior staff writer on the football, men's basketball and women's basketball beats. She was previously an assistant Sports editor on the women's basketball, women's soccer, beach volleyball and cross country beats and a contributor on the women's basketball and beach volleyball beats.
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