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UCLA women’s soccer to leverage win streak against Washington, Washington State

Graduate student forward Ally Cook fends for the ball. (Daily Bruin file photo)

Women's Soccer


Washington
Thursday, 7 p.m.

Seattle, WA
Pac-12 Networks
Washington State
Sunday, noon.

Pullman, WA
Pac-12 Networks

By Alexis Hinkle

Sept. 28, 2023 12:32 p.m.

Maintaining momentum is second nature to the Bruins.

They have shown their ability to pick themselves up after a loss and move forward.

After a nonconference loss to now-No. 6 BYU, No. 5 UCLA women’s soccer (7-1, 1-0 Pac-12) will have the chance to extend its four-game winning streak and undefeated conference record against Washington (5-2-2, 0-1) and No. 22 Washington State (7-2, 0-1). The Bruins will venture away from Westwood for the weekend and face the Huskies in Seattle and the Cougars in Pullman on Thursday and Sunday, respectively.

The Bruins are entering the upcoming games coming off of a 3-1 win over Colorado – their first contest of conference play this season. Graduate student forward Ally Cook scored two out of those three goals, with one of them coming in the sixth minute.

The Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week said her early goal was beneficial for the fate of the rest of the contest.

“Scoring early in a game is like, ‘Now, you can be a little bit more calm, we’re in control of the game,’” Cook said. “It really helps our team’s confidence.”

Cook’s goals put her in the lead for scoring this season with five total. In last season’s Pac-12 matchups, it was her goal that sealed the Bruins’ win against the Huskies.

In addition to coming off of a loss of their own, the Huskies haven’t beat the Bruins since 2015. And despite the home advantage, it may not be enough to stop the Bruins on the offensive and defensive end.

The last line of defense – sophomore goalkeeper Neeku Purcell – has only allowed five goals in eight games this season. Purcell said working with the defense has helped her grow throughout the season.

“Our back line does a really good job of working together as a unit,” Purcell said. “Our constant communication and our ability to learn from each other and play well with each other has been great to step into and be a part of.”

Both Washington and Washington State will be challenged by UCLA’s back line, which includes reigning Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week Quincy McMahon. The junior defender was a starter in last year’s matchup against Washington State – who is also 0-1 in conference play this season – where she and her teammates allowed the Cougars to take just six shots to the Bruins’ 26 throughout the whole game.

Washington State will have the opportunity to end UCLA’s winning streak and create a new one of their own, as they haven’t defeated the Bruins since 2018.

After winning the last four games, coach Margueritte Aozasa said UCLA is continuing to improve from the last games before heading into these contests.

“I’ve seen a huge amount of growth,” Aozasa said. “We’re getting closer and closer to where we want to be.”

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Alexis Hinkle
Hinkle is a 2023-2024 assistant Sports editor on the women's basketball, women's tennis, men's golf and track and field beats. She was previously a reporter on the women's basketball and beach volleyball beats. She is also a second-year sociology student.
Hinkle is a 2023-2024 assistant Sports editor on the women's basketball, women's tennis, men's golf and track and field beats. She was previously a reporter on the women's basketball and beach volleyball beats. She is also a second-year sociology student.
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