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No. 1 UCLA women’s soccer seeks wins over Colorado, Utah after loss to Stanford

Junior forward Reilyn Turner handles the ball. Turner is the second-leading scorer on the team just behind senior forward Sunshine Fontes.(Christine Kao/Daily Bruin staff)

Women's Soccer

Thursday, 2 p.m.

Pac-12 Insider
Sunday, 11 a.m.

Salt Lake City
Pac-12 Networks

By Shane Smith

Oct. 20, 2022 10:30 a.m.

Undeterred by their first loss of the season, the Bruins will look to rebound as they travel east to continue their Pac-12 conference schedule.

No. 1 UCLA women’s soccer (13-1, 5-1 Pac-12) is set to face Colorado (8-4-3, 2-3-1) in Boulder on Thursday and Utah (6-5-3, 2-3-1) in Salt Lake City on Sunday. The Bruins aim to add to their historical success against both programs, boasting a 12-2 all-time record against the Buffaloes and an 8-2-2 all-time record against the Utes.

Coach Margueritte Aozasa said she wasn’t concerned with the shutout result against a top-10 Stanford team in Palo Alto last Friday.

“Honestly I don’t sweat the loss at all. It doesn’t bother me,” Aozasa said.“I feel like everyone is more preoccupied with it than any of us are. It is more about learning from our mistakes and putting away our chances.”

Though the blue and gold ultimately failed to convert, UCLA recorded 17 total shots against Stanford, including 12 in the second half – three of which were saved by Stanford goalkeeper Ryan Campbell. Aozasa was encouraged by the offensive production despite the lack of results.

“Even in my time at Stanford, I don’t think we’ve ever been dominated in that way, especially at home,” Aozasa said. “I walk away looking at the game mostly positively to go do that against a top-10 team.”

While the Bruins remain the top team in the country, their past two games have shown a lapse in offensive production relative to their prior performances. UCLA generated 17 total shots against Stanford and just nine against Arizona. In the Bruins’ seven games prior to this stretch, they tallied a minimum of 20 shots per game. Prior to its narrow 1-0 victory over Arizona and subsequent shutout to Stanford, UCLA had scored more than three goals in each of its previous five games.

Junior forward Reilyn Turner, who has started in 13 games for UCLA and scored the second-most number of goals, said the squad has a growth mindset in regard to its recent loss and is looking to turn it into a productive experience.

“It was kind of like a wake-up call for us,” Turner said. “We’ve been on a winning streak, and we needed that to do what we need to do leading up now to the end of season in order to make our team better and fine-tune any details.”

Both Turner and graduate student goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy, who is in her fifth season between the sticks for the Bruins, noted the value of film sessions in assessing areas of improvement.

“You always learn from obviously a goal that has been scored on you in a loss,” Brzykcy said. “So, we’re actually going to film right now, and we’re gonna learn from it and hopefully not make that same mistake again.”

Though the Bruins have a strong historical record against both programs, Colorado and Utah have both proven to be formidable opponents at home this season, posting 8-1 and 6-2-1 home records, respectively. UCLA, meanwhile, has lost just once on the road in the past three seasons – the sole loss coming last Friday night.

UCLA will kick off with Colorado from Prentup Field on Thursday at 2 p.m. and finish its road trip at Ute Field against Utah on Sunday at 11 a.m.

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Shane Smith | Sports contributor
Smith is currently a contributor on the beach volleyball beat. He was previously a contributor on the men's soccer beat.
Smith is currently a contributor on the beach volleyball beat. He was previously a contributor on the men's soccer beat.
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