No. 3 Bruins Head to Colorado, Utah
No. 3 UCLA (6-0, 3-0) at Utah (1-4-2, 0-2-1)
Sunday, Mar. 14, 2021 – 1 p.m. MT / 12 p.m. PT
Salt Lake City, Utah (Ute Field)
Watch: Pac-12 Networks
BRUINS HEAD TO COLORADO, UTAH
No. 3 UCLA (6-0, 3-0 in the Pac-12) heads out to Colorado and Utah this weekend, playing at Colorado on Friday, Mar. 12 at 12pm MT/11am PT and at Utah on Sunday, Mar. 14 at 1pm MT/12pm PT. Friday's game will be the debut game on the new Pac-12 Insider streaming service, and it will also be available live online at pac-12.com/live. Sunday's game will be televised live on Pac-12 Networks.
SCOUTING THE BUFFALOES
Colorado won its first three games of the season and upset No. 10 California, 2-1, on Friday. The Buffaloes are 3-0 at home, with two shutouts. Defender Hannah Sharts, who played in six games for UCLA in 2018 after redshirting in 2017, leads Colorado in scoring with four goals. Dani Hansen has twice been named the Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Week and holds a goals against average of 0.79 with three shutouts.
SCOUTING THE UTES
Utah has played five ranked teams in its first seven games and is coming off three straight road losses to ranked Pac-12 teams. They will face another pair of ranked teams this weekend in USC and UCLA in their first home games of the season. The Utes have been held scoreless in their last four games and have not won since beating Dixie State 2-1 on Feb. 11. Hanna Olsen is the team's leading scorer with two goals and five points.
UCLA's perfect start to the season continued after a 3-0 win over No. 20 Oregon and a 2-1 overtime win over Oregon State. Against the Ducks, redshirt freshman Sunshine Fontes recorded the first multiple-goal game of her collegiate career, scoring two goals, including the game-winner in the first half. Mia Fishel added a goal and assist, and goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy made four saves and earned the shutout, her third of the season. Against the Beavers, Fishel and Marley Canales provided the heroics, as Fishel headed a Canales corner kick into the back of the net just before halftime to give UCLA a 1-0. And Fishel drew a foul in the box in the 100th minute, allowing Canales to score the game-winner on the penalty kick.
FISHEL REELS IN ALL THE AWARDS
After playing a role in four of UCLA's five goals last weekend, sophomore forward Mia Fishel earned numerous player of the Week awards, including Top Drawer Soccer Player of the Week, College Soccer News Player of the Week, Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week and the UCLA/Ready Student-Athlete of the Week. Fishel totaled two goals and an assist and drew a penalty kick that resulted in the game-winning goal against Oregon State.
Redshirt senior Jacey Pederson earned her first career Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week award after totaling 179 minutes in a pair of Bruin victories last weekend. She played the full 90 as UCLA shut out Oregon, 3-0, on Mar. 5, the Bruins' third shutout of the year. Against Oregon State on Mar. 7, she played 89 minutes in the 2-1 overtime victory. Pederson helped limit Oregon State to just two shots on goal in the match and six shots overall. She has started every game this season after missing the last year and a half while recovering from an ACL injury.
TIME TO SHINE
Redshirt freshman Sunshine Fontes has been a ray of light for the Bruins so far this season, scoring a team-high-tying four goals in just 234 minutes played. She recorded her first multi-goal game as a Bruin against Oregon, scoring two impressive goals, including the game-winner. Fontes also scored the game-winner against BYU in the home opener. Fontes, who was the all-time leading scorer for the U.S. Under-17 National Team with 24 goals, tore her ACL in 2019 at the end of her high school season and missed the entire 2019 season. She made her UCLA debut in the 2020-21 season opener, playing 22 minutes at Pepperdine. She has gradually increased her minutes played and logged a season-high 59 minutes while earning her first start against Oregon State.
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 leads the team in scoring with nine points and is tied with Sunshine Fontes for the team lead in goals scored with four. She already has 18 goals and eight game-winning goals in a little over one season and needs just two more game-winners to move into UCLA's Top 10 list for career game-winning goals. 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.
CANALES CAN DO ALL
Senior midfielder Marley Canales has had a hand in 40% of UCLA's goals this season, tallying two goals and a team-high four assists. She has two penalty kick goals, scoring the game-winner in overtime against Oregon State and the game-tying goal against BYU (she is 5-for-5 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. Three of her four assists this season have come off set pieces - two corner kicks and a free kick.
After missing three games while on Mexican National Team duty, senior defender Karina Rodriguez made a welcomed return to the pitch against Oregon State on Sunday, playing 65 minutes and taking three shots. Rodriguez started UCLA's first two games before being called up for a pair of games against Costa Rica. She started in the second game on Feb. 23 and helped Mexico record a shutout in a 0-0 tie.
Freshman Reilyn Turner has made a big impression early on in her collegiate career, scoring either a goal or assist in three of the Bruins' first five games. She ranks third on the team in goals (two), second in assists (two) and fourth in points (six) and was named to Top Drawer Soccer's Freshman Best XI. Turner brings a great deal of U.S. Youth National Team experience, playing with the U.S. U-19s in 2020 and with the U-17s at the 2018 CONCACAF Championship, where she scored two goals, including the game-winner against Canada to send the team to the semifinals.
BRZYKCY EARNS FIRST TWO PAC-12 HONORS
Redshirt junior Lauren Brzykcy was named the Pac-12's Goalkeeper of the Week in each of the first two weeks of the season. Brzykcy, who played behind four-year starter Teagan Micah for three seasons, captured her first award after shutting out No. 25 Pepperdine while making seven saves. She followed that up with a five-save performance against No. 10 BYU, with the lone goal given up being a deflected clearance off a BYU player's back. Brzykcy is now 14-3-0 in her career with seven shutouts and a career goals against average of 0.74. Her 21 saves this year in six games are already a new season-best for her.
ACL GANG COMING BACK STRONG
Nearly half of UCLA's 15 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 has two goals this year. 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. She is tied for the team lead in goals scored with four after her two-goal performance against Oregon. Additionally, an eighth goal was scored by another player coming off a major injury. Olivia Athens suffered a leg fracture in September 2019 and missed the remainder of the year. She scored her first goal since November 2018 in UCLA's 3-0 win vs. San Diego.
Nine Bruins made their collegiate debuts in the first three games. Freshman Reilyn Turner has started every game, Michaela Rosenbaum has started the last five, and Megan Edelman started the first three. All three have played in each game, along with redshirt freshman Sunshine Fontes. Kaila Novak has started two games and has played in five games overall. Madelyn Desiano, who missed the last two seasons with ACL injuries, and true freshmen Aislynn Crowder and Jillian Martinez have played in three games each, and Isabel Loza has played in two.