Women's Soccer Welcomes San Diego on Tuesday Afternoon
No. 4 UCLA (2-0) vs. San Diego (0-1)
Date/Time: Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021 – 2 p.m. (PT)
Location: Los Angeles, Calif. (Wallis Annenberg Stadium)
Talent: Nick Koop
Live Stats: uclalivestats.com
UCLA vs. USD, TAKE TWO
No. 4 UCLA (2-0) will host San Diego (0-1) on Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 2pm at Wallis Annenberg Stadium. The two teams had been scheduled to open the season against each other on Feb. 4, but the match was canceled due to minimum player standards not being met by San Diego and moved to an open date on the non-conference schedule. Due to current state and county guidelines, the stadium is closed to spectators, but fans can follow the action via UCLA's audio broadcast on ucla.leanplayer.com.
WELCOMING BACK COACH LIEBERMAN
Former Bruin player and assistant coach Louise Lieberman returns to Westwood Tuesday in her fourth season as head coach of San Diego. Lieberman spent eight seasons (2009-16) as a Bruin assistant coach under three different coaches (Jill Ellis, B.J. Snow and Amanda Cromwell) and helped guide UCLA to seven NCAA tournament appearances, two trips to the Final Four and the 2013 NCAA Championship, the first in UCLA history. As a player, she totaled 31 points on seven goals and 17 assists over 78 games during her four-year career. A two-year winner of the team's Most Inspirational Award, Lieberman helped the program claim its first two Pac-10 Championships in 1997 and 1998, and UCLA made the NCAA Tournament in three of her four seasons, including the quarterfinals in 1997.
SUPPORT UCLA TEAMS VIA FAN CUTOUTS
In adherence to the latest COVID-19 guidelines set by the state of California and Los Angeles County, fans are not permitted to attend events at UCLA Athletics venues, including Wallis Annenberg Stadium. However, Bruin fans can be there in spirit to support their favorite teams via cutouts which will be placed in seats inside the venue. For only $50 per cutout, fans can submit a photo of themselves, family members, friends or even their pets. Cutouts will be placed in seats within two weeks of the order date and remain in place until the completion of the last regular-season home contest at that venue. Specific seat locations for cutouts will be determined by availability at the time of purchase. Fans will have the opportunity to pick up their cutout once campus officially reopens. To order, visit uclabruins.com/fancutouts.
BRUINS BEAT BYU
Down 1-0 at the start of the second half, No. 4 UCLA rallied to defeat No. 10 BYU, 2-1, in the Bruins' home opener at Wallis Annenberg Stadium on Feb. 12. After the Cougars scored early in the second half off a deflected clearance, the Bruins came back with a Marley Canales penalty kick in the 59th minute, and Sunshine Fontes scored her first collegiate goal in the 74th minute to give UCLA the comeback victory. Goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy made five saves in the match.
CANALES CAN DO ALL
Senior midfielder Marley Canales has had a hand in nearly every Bruin goal this season. UCLA has scored five goals in two games, and Canales has scored one goal and assisted on three others. Canales scored the game-tying goal against BYU on a penalty kick (she is 4-for-4 in her career on PKs; additionally, she hit the deciding PK in the 2017 NCAA semifinals). In the season opener at Pepperdine, her first game back since tearing her ACL in October 2019, Canales recorded three assists in the 3-0 victory. Two of those assists came off set pieces - the first off a free kick and the third off a corner kick. In Canales' last three full games, she has totaled one goal and five assists.
ACL GANG COMING BACK STRONG
Three of UCLA's five goals this season have come from players coming back from ACL injuries. Jacey Pederson was the first of the ACL gang to score. Before starting against Pepperdine in the season opener, the fifth-year senior had not played since Nov. 2, 2018, and she made a big impact in her return, scoring her first collegiate goal. Marley Canales tore her ACL on Oct. 13, 2019 and came back with a three-assist game in the season opener and then scored her first goal against BYU. Redshirt freshman Sunshine Fontes suffered a torn ACL at the end of her high school season in 2019 and came back to score her first collegiate goal in just her second game as a Bruin, the game-winner against BYU.
While previous members of the ACL gang are thriving now, a new member was recently added though, as senior midfielder Viviana Villacorta tore her ACL in the first half of the season opener at Pepperdine. Villacorta, who was drafted by the Orlando Pride in the first round of the 2021 NWSL College Draft, had not missed a game during her UCLA career until this past week, making 72 appearances and totaling seven goals and 16 assists.
Sophomore forward Mia Fishel has picked up where she left off last season when she led the team with 14 goals scored, including six goals in her last six games. Fishel scored the season's first goal in the eighth minute at Pepperdine in the season opener, and she set up the Bruins' first goal against BYU, drawing a penalty kick in the second half with UCLA down 1-0. She was selected the Bruin of the Match for the BYU game. Fishel earned her first call-up with the U.S. Women's National Team in October and was the Golden Ball winner at the 2020 Concacaf U-20 Championships after scoring a U.S. record 13 goals in the tournament.
Eight Bruins have made their collegiate debuts in the first two games. Freshmen Reilyn Turner and Megan Edelman have started each game, with Turner totaling one goal and two assists, and Edelman being named the Bruin of the Match in the opener against Pepperdine. Also playing in both games have been redshirt freshman Sunshine Fontes and true freshmen Aislynn Crowder and Michaela Rosenbaum. Jillian Martinez and Isabel Loza saw action in game one, and Kaila Novak made her debut in game two.
SCOUTING THE TOREROS
San Diego opened its season on Friday with a 4-1 loss to Pepperdine. The Toreros had just one shot on goal in the match, a second-half penalty kick goal scored by freshman Lexi Kaz. Sophomore goalkeeper Ellyn Casto recorded eight saves. San Diego is led by midfielder Eden Quiroz, who started every game in 2019 and earned WCC all-freshman honors. The Toreros are coming off of a season in which they finished 8-9-1 and 4-5 in the WCC. In addition to head coach Louise Lieberman, there is one other UCLA connection on the Torero squad - sophomore Jamie Goralski is the younger sister of Zoey Goralski, who was at UCLA from 2013-17 and earned All-Tournament honors at the 2017 NCAA College Cup. Zoey currently plays for the Chicago Red Stars in the NWSL.
BRUINS ON WATCH LIST
UCLA seniors Lucy Parker and Viviana Villacorta were selected to the MAC Hermann Trophy Women's Watch List for 2020-21. The MAC Hermann Trophy, presented by World Wide Technology, is the most prestigious individual award in college soccer and is presented annually to the most outstanding male and female players of the year. Parker picked up her second consecutive Watch List nod. In 2019, her first year at UCLA, she earned All-Pac-12 honors and was twice named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. She led the team in minutes played with 2,055 out of 2,180 minutes and also scored four goals to rank fourth on the team.
Three UCLA women's soccer players were selected in the 2021 NWSL College Draft – midfielder Viviana Villacorta, defender Lucy Parker, and midfielder Delanie Sheehan. Villacorta was selected No. 9 overall by the Orlando Pride. Parker was picked by Kansas City in the second round with the No. 16 selection, and Sheehan was selected by Sky Blue FC in the fourth round with the No. 33 pick. Additionally, defender Karina Rodriguez was picked up as a discovery selection by the Washington Spirit. All four players will finish their senior season with UCLA in the spring before joining their pro teams.
UCLA brings in the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation, the second consecutive Top 2 class for the Bruins. Among the 14 players signed were U.S. Youth National Team members Aislynn Crowder, Isabel Loza, Jillian Martinez, Michaela Rosenbaum, Dasia Torbert, Reilyn Turner and MacKenzee Vance, and Canadian Youth National Team player Kaila Novak. Two international freshmen are also in the signing class, but due to current immigration regulations are not able to enter the country. Norway's My Haugland Sørsdahl is currently enrolled and taking classes remotely, and Sweden's Clara Härdling has deferred enrollment.
Also new to the program is goalkeeper coach Saskia Webber, a member of U.S. Soccer's legendary 1999 World Cup championship team and teammates with Bruin head coach Amanda Cromwell on the 1995 World Cup squad and 1996 Olympic team. A member of the USWNT for eight years, Webber was a founding member of the Women's United Soccer Association, playing for the Philadelphia Charge in 2001 and for the New York Power in 2002. Additionally, she played professionally for three years in Japan for Oki FC, where she was named the top goalkeeper of the league.
Sophomore Mia Fishel and junior Maricarmen Reyes recently earned their first call-up with their full national team for training camps. Fishel attended a 10-day training camp in Colorado with the U.S. Women's National Team in October. Reyes received her first invitation to Mexico's National Team camp in January. Both players have extensive Youth National Team experience, with Fishel winning the Golden Ball at the 2020 Concacaf U-20 Championships and the 2016 Concacaf U-15 Championships, and Reyes starting for Mexico in the 2018 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
The Bruins were honored with the United Soccer Coaches College Team Academic Award for the ninth consecutive year, including every year during head coach Amanda Cromwell's tenure. At 3.29, the team improved its year-over-year GPA by over a quarter-point (2018-19: 3.03).