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With home game win streak, UCLA women’s soccer readies for Oregon State, Oregon

Members of UCLA women’s soccer celebrate together. (Daily Bruin file photo)

Women's Soccer

Oregon State
Thursday, 7 p.m.

Wallis Annenberg Stadium
Pac-12 Networks
Sunday, 1 p.m.

Wallis Annenberg Stadium
Pac-12 Networks

By Lori Garavartanian

Oct. 5, 2023 12:21 p.m.

Whether the Los Angeles weather is gloomy, there will be no Sunshine at the Wallis Annenberg Stadium for the first time this season.

Graduate student midfielder/forward Sunshine Fontes sustained an ACL tear in the Bruins’ game against Washington on Sept. 28, putting the Bruins one starter down in their game against Washington State, which they ultimately won 2-0.

“Sunshine is obviously a big loss,” said junior forward Lexi Wright. “But one of our strengths is our depth. We have a lot of great girls coming off the bench too.”

No. 5 UCLA women’s soccer (9-1, 3-0 Pac-12) will face Oregon State (3-4-4, 0-2-1) and Oregon (0-9-2, 0-3) following three away wins, which have created an undefeated start to conference play.

Fontes’s injury also means she won’t be able to play for Senior Day on Sunday against Oregon. The severity of the injury means the Bruins will have to continue adjusting their lineup as they return home to continue conference play.

“It’s always nice to be back home,” said coach Margueritte Aozasa. “Not just were we away, but we were away at two difficult spots. Whenever we’re at home, we play with a renewed excitement.”

UCLA has won every home game this season, and it will look to continue that streak against Oregon State and Oregon.

The Bruins have also gotten more shots off than their opponents in all three conference games thus far, maintaining a double-digit advantage in shots against both Colorado and Washington State.

“It’s just taking it one game at a time,” said graduate student forward Ally Cook when asked about maintaining offensive momentum. “Every team is different, and it’s about letting the quality of our team and our players take over.”

UCLA also comes into this set of games with six shutouts, with its latest being against Washington State.

Aozasa said the defense is able to win the ball in dangerous areas. While the shot count is what shows after the game, it’s really an extension of defensive performance, she said.

This is UCLA’s final year in the Pac-12 and an opportunity for the Bruins to redeem a lost conference championship from last year. The games against Oregon State and Oregon are part of the Bruins’ push to accomplish that.

Despite playing the same conference opponents every year, Wright said a new year means scouting new players and expecting new outcomes.

“Just show up and expect what the game plan shows,” Wright said. “Having respect for every opponent is always really important and something we try not to forget about.”

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Lori Garavartanian
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