No. 1 UCLA Women’s Soccer defeats Pepperdine No. 9 4-0

(Photo: Steve Cheng, Bruin Report Online, 247Sports)

UCLA’s No. 1 women’s soccer (8-0) traveled 35 minutes north on Pacific Coast Highway Sunday to take on ninth-place Pepperdine (6-1-2) and crush Waves, 4-0, to complete the pre-conference. The schedule is undefeated.

This was the Bruins’ third win over a top ten team, having previously defeated No. 1 North Carolina and 2 Duke.

She scored four different goals for the Bruins and goalkeeper Lauren Brzecsi got her fifth elimination in eight games this season. (Final stats)

UCLA is a perfect 8-0 under first-year coach Margueritte Aozasa, who served as an assistant coach at Stanford for seven seasons and helped guide the Cardinals to the National Championships in 2017 and 2019 and to the Pac-12 titles from 2015-19.

“Today was a great win for the team,” said coach Ozasa. “We played a lot of players – all of them came in and played their part. What I was really proud of – there was a moment in the first half Pepperdine definitely had momentum but we stayed in control, we stayed in control, we made some adjustments in the first half and I think the second half was better. Our performance on and off the ball. It’s been this year.”

(Photo: Steve Cheng, Bruin Report Online, 247Sports)

One of the early attributes of UCLA coach Aozasa’s team in 2022 is physical fitness on the field.

Coach Ossa said: “This is something we try to achieve every day, that physique, that sport. We are very fortunate to have players on our team who can play in this way. We instill their will into the game.”

Young striker Bruin Reilyn Turner started scoring early in the game at 17:10 with a perfect header from a beautiful pass by defender Brianne Riley.

Pepperdine tried to respond with a violent attack that swayed the momentum, but UCLA goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy parried the waves with 6 big saves in the first half to advance 1-0 to the end of the first half.

UCLA dominated in the second half with physical play still on the ball and patiently setting up good scoring opportunities. The Bruins beat Pepperdine 13 to 2 and finished the game with a 20 to 8 shot advantage.

First forward Lexi Wright scored in the 60:35 minute to give UCLA a 2-0 lead from a deep pass from midfielder Maricarmen Reyes and a deflection on new striker Bridget Marin Valencia.

Striker Sunshine Fortis scored 3-0 with a goal in the 78:52 minute, the sixth goal at the top of the team this season and the eleventh goal in her career. Junior Mackenzie Vance scored in the 84:58 minute on an empty net to make the score 4-0. This was Vance’s first career goal after she missed her first two seasons after recovering from a knee injury.

Vance turned to her teammates after the goal in an emotional celebration in midfield.

“It’s been two long years making and watching the goal I can only say I am giving this glorious moment to God.” Vance said. “After scoring when I turned around and saw all my teammates running towards me I felt love and compassion from them. It was a great feeling and filled me with so many positive emotions.”

next one:

UCLA begins its Pac-12 schedule this Friday, September 23 at home against Cal at 8:00 p.m. and has a road trip next Thursday, September 29 and Sunday, October 2 to play Oregon and Oregon.

(Photo: Steve Cheng, Bruin Report Online, 247Sports)