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Women’s soccer ties USC in double overtime nonconference matchup

Despite allowing two goals in a game for the first time this season, redshirt junior goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy made a career-high nine saves as No. 3 UCLA women’s soccer drew in overtime against crosstown rival USC. (Kanishka Mehra/Photo editor)

Women's Soccer

No. 3 UCLA2

By Cassidy Hunt

March 19, 2021 12:16 p.m.

For the third time in four years, the Bruins and the Trojans were sent to overtime.

But, this time, neither team secured a golden goal.

No. 3 UCLA women’s soccer (8-0-1, 5-0 Pac-12) extended its undefeated streak against USC (3-3-1, 2-3) to five games Thursday night, tying its crosstown rival 2-2 in a nonconference bout. The Trojans led for almost 20 minutes in the second half before a Bruin goal with five minutes left forced two overtime periods.

“That was one of the best games I’ve seen (the Trojans) play all year,” said coach Amanda Cromwell. “They were desperate after two losses over the weekend, and they fought hard and just defended us really well.”

The teams broke even in the first half, as UCLA scored on a low penalty kick to the left corner that Trojan goalkeeper Kaylie Collins could not reach, immediately followed by Bruin redshirt junior goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy’s first allowed goal in three games.

USC started the game aggressively, committing four fouls in the time it took UCLA to record one.

“I knew both teams were going to come out 110%, especially UCLA,” Brzykcy said. “But, (USC was) desperate for a win so we knew they were going to play hard.”

The Bruins started the second half with two shots in the first four minutes but failed to record another for more than 22 minutes. The Trojans tallied four shots on goal in the same time frame, one of which found the back of the net.

USC forward Tara Mckeown scored both of the Trojans’ goals in the match, completing the latter with a blast from the outer right side of the Bruins’ box that sailed into the top left corner. Brzykcy got her fingertips on the ball, but only slightly adjusted its course before USC officially took the lead over UCLA.

The Bruins waited to counter, tying the match with less than five minutes remaining in regulation with a cross-net shot of their own.

In a group effort, redshirt freshman forward Sunshine Fontes crossed the ball to freshman forward Kaila Novak, who combined with senior midfielder Delanie Sheehan to place the ball in front of freshman forward Reilyn Turner, who slid it in with 85:11 on the clock to force an overtime period.

“I was really ready for that ball,” Turner said. “(Sheehan) did a great job of putting it right in front of me, and we were able to tie it up like we had to.”

The majority of the first overtime period was played in UCLA’s half of the field, with the Bruins running into trouble with just over 30 seconds remaining when a Trojan free kick slipped away from Brzykcy and hit the crossbar before each team got a head on it and it was ultimately removed from the box by Sheehan.

“Today was a huge wakeup call for me,” Brzykcy said. “It’s been a while since I’ve had to touch a ball like that, that much, but I needed it.”

After 20 total minutes of overtime, neither team could find the back of the net and the match ended at 2-2. It was the Bruins’ first multiconcession game of the season and their first draw since Sept. 19, 2019.

UCLA will have more than a week off before it continues its homestand against Arizona State on March 26.

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Cassidy Hunt | Sports staff
Hunt is currently a Sports staff writer on the softball and women's soccer beats. She was previously a reporter on the gymnastics, women's water polo and swim & dive beats.
Hunt is currently a Sports staff writer on the softball and women's soccer beats. She was previously a reporter on the gymnastics, women's water polo and swim & dive beats.
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