UCLA women’s soccer continues undefeated streak with victory over San Diego State
Freshman forward/midfielder Ellie Walbruch dribbles the ball towards the goal. Walbruch scored her first collegiate goal Thursday to help the Bruins secure the win against San Diego State. (Marc-Anthony Rosas/Daily Bruin)
|San Diego State||0|
|No. 1 UCLA||2|
Sept. 16, 2022 4:05 p.m.
With less than five minutes left in the first half, the game was scoreless.
Then came the rookies.
Surging forward and making a powerful shot directly to the middle of the net, freshman forward/midfielder Ellie Walbruch put the Bruins on the scoreboard in the 41st minute, marking the first goal of her collegiate career.
Behind a pair of freshmen goals, No. 1 UCLA women’s soccer (7-0) defeated San Diego State (2-2-4) 2-0 on Thursday in Wallis Annenberg Stadium. This win continues the Bruins’ undefeated streak with one nonconference game left on their schedule prior to the start of the conference play.
Coach Margueritte Aozasa said Walbruch’s goal came as the result of her determination to score.
“She’s just one of our hardest workers in training,” Aozasa said. “The goal she scored is something she’s been working on personally with Gof (assistant coach Gof Boyoko) for the last couple of weeks.”
Walbruch said she remembered Boyoko’s words when she was substituted into the game in the 39th minute before scoring barely two minutes later.
“My coach Gof says, ‘Right when you go onto the field, just get a shot on goal.’ And that’s exactly what I did,” Walbruch said.
Walbruch was one of six freshmen to receive playing time in the win over the Aztecs, with Aozasa praising the newcomers for energizing the team throughout the season.
“They add a spunk and energy about them,” Aozasa said. “You can see every single one of them, the way they play, they have kind of a really fun personality, and so they’ve definitely added just to our overall enjoyment and also our quality.”
The only other goal came off the head of another freshman, midfielder Sofia Cook, in the 53rd minute. Cook said her second collegiate goal was a spur of the moment chance during a scramble in the box.
“The ball was just kind of all over the place there in the box, and it was in the air, so I just jumped and got it top corner,” Cook said.
Throughout the game, UCLA made 31 shots compared to San Diego State’s three. San Diego State’s goalkeeper, Alexa Madueño, collected eight saves, whereas UCLA graduate student goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy blocked only two shots to maintain a shutout.
Aozasa said in regards to the team’s strategy going forward to make the most out of scoring opportunities, the answer lies in attitude and practice.
“The way we train is key, so we talked to the group about being more professional, being more mature, making sure that we take care of our chances,” Aozasa said. “Because we know going forward that we’re not always going to create 30 shots.”
With a seventh straight victory to start the season, the Bruins are now gearing up for the beginning of Pac-12 play right around the corner.
Aozasa said the win over San Diego State was an opportunity to prepare the team for the rest of the season.
“Right now it’s just about building momentum, giving players lots of experience,” Aozasa said. “Thankfully, today we were able to use a lot of depth.”