Women’s soccer heads north for 1st conference road games of season in Oregon
Graduate student guard Lauren Brzykcy stands on the field, waiting for the next play. Bryzkcy has collected 25 saves in nine games this season. (Joseph Jimenez/Assistant Photo editor)
Thursday, 7 p.m.
Sunday, 12 p.m.
Sept. 28, 2022 3:50 p.m.
The last time the Bruins boarded a plane to play a game, they returned to Westwood as the No. 1 team in the nation.
No. 1 UCLA women’s soccer (9-0, 1-0 Pac-12) will travel north to compete against Oregon (3-2-4, 1-0) and Oregon State (4-3-2, 0-1) on Thursday and Sunday, respectively. After their most recent victory against California in Westwood to open the Pac-12 schedule, the Bruins are traveling their furthest distance to compete since their early September trip to North Carolina.
On that trip east nearly a month ago, the Bruins competed against the then-top two teams in the nation in North Carolina and Duke. Ultimately, UCLA was victorious in both games and came home not only undefeated but having clinched the No. 1 ranking in the country.
Coach Margueritte Aozasa said it is beneficial to have an established procedure for away games, especially as a new coaching staff.
“That (North Carolina) trip allowed us to establish a routine on the road,” Aozasa said. “Going into this trip, we feel pretty confident with what works, what didn’t, how we like the day to be structured. So (it feels) a lot less frantic than how we felt going into North Carolina.”
Last weekend, UCLA opened its conference play with a 4-2 victory over Cal. The two goals allowed were the most the Bruins have conceded all year. Graduate student goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy collected one save, adding to her season total of 25.
Brzykcy said the team has learned from the goals that were scored on them against the Golden Bears.
“We’ve learned from those for sure, and we’re going to move on after learning from them, and then obviously, I think we’ve become a better team,” Brzykcy said. “It happens obviously, but at the end of the day, a win’s a win.”
The Bruins’ offense through nine games has been led by senior forward Sunshine Fontes – who has scored six goals thus far this season – and graduate student midfielder Maricarmen Reyes with four goals, two of which she scored during Friday’s Pac-12 opener.
Reyes said despite trailing during the game against Cal, being able to come back and score four goals gave the team confidence going into the Oregon road trip and the rest of conference play.
“I feel like it just shows us that we could do hard things obviously and come back from a bad score,” Reyes said. “Going into Oregon, we just expect anything from them. If they sit or if they press, we’re going to be ready for anything.”
UCLA will kick off its second and third games in its Pac-12 schedule against Oregon on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. and Oregon State on Sunday at noon.