Ally Cook becomes leading scorer for UCLA women’s soccer in win against Colorado
Graduate student forward Ally Cook maneuvers the ball around the opposing team. Cook’s two goals against Colorado made her the Bruins’ current top scorer. (Christine Kao/Daily Bruin staff)
|No. 5 UCLA||3|
|No. 20 Colorado||1|
Sept. 23, 2023 12:28 p.m.
On Friday night in Boulder, one player decided to answer any lingering questions about the Bruins’ offensive strength and claimed the team’s leading scorer notch while she was at it.
The player in question: graduate student forward Ally Cook.
Initiated by a pair of goals from Cook, No. 5 UCLA women’s soccer (7-1, 1-0 Pac-12) dismantled the defense of No. 20 Colorado (8-2, 0-1) to clinch a 3-1 victory. The Bruins commenced Pac-12 play with the contest, and it was their second out-of-state match of the season.
Coach Margueritte Aozasa said the team’s efforts were a step in the right direction toward its long-term goals.
“We’re getting closer and closer to where we want to be,” Aozasa said. “But you could see today just the rhythm were playing with, the understanding and the movement off the ball. I think tonight looked better than it had all season.”
In the sixth minute, Cook found the back of the net off an assist from junior forward Lexi Wright. The goal not only put the Bruins on the board but also allowed Cook to tie graduate student forward/midfielder Sunshine Fontes as the squad’s leading scorer, with the pair each boasting four goals apiece.
Thirty-six minutes later, Cook would claim the title all to herself.
Cook converted another goal in the 42nd minute off an assist from junior defender Quincy McMahon to bring her individual total to five across the season.
Cook said she was pleased with her results Friday but added that they occurred as a result of her team’s goal-creation abilities.
“Obviously, it feels good,” Cook said. “It was really a team effort, like the second goal, we watched the video back and we were like, ‘Wow, that was a beautiful combination.’ Even the first, beautiful pass by Lexi.”
Colorado attempted to find a score of its own three times in the half but was unsuccessful in its efforts as sophomore goalkeeper Neeku Purcell looked to extend her shutout streak.
However, that three-game run would be snapped in the second half.
Cook had the opportunity to convert her pair of goals into a hat trick in the 59th minute after a goal attempt from senior forward Reilyn Turner bounced off the goalkeeper’s hands. However, the second attempt from Cook was blocked by another Colorado player.
After the play, Colorado found its first goal of the night thanks to forward Shyra James – the conference’s leading scorer. It was the first goal Purcell has allowed since UCLA’s loss to BYU.
Nevertheless, the scoring wasn’t done yet.
Colorado forward Rachel Rosen closed the contest when she committed an own goal – granting UCLA the two-goal lead after a blocked shot attempt by Wright in the 77th minute. The goal finished up the Buffaloes’ hopes to equalize and sent the Bruins home with their first conference win of the season.
“It feels great to start the Pac-12 off like this,” Purcell said.