UCLA, USC Women's Soccer Clash in Coliseum Friday
No. 3 UCLA (12-1-1, 9-1-0) at No. 19 USC (7-3-2, 6-3-1)
Date/Time: Friday, Apr. 16, 2021 – 4 p.m. PT
Location: Los Angeles, Calif. (Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum)
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Talent: Anne Marie Anderson, Tammy Blackburn
Live Stats: usctrojans.com
No. 3 UCLA (12-1-1, 9-1-0 in the Pac-12) will wrap up the regular season on Friday, April 16 with the Crosstown Showdown against No. 19 USC (7-3-2, 6-3-1) at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum at 4pm. The two teams met on Mar. 18 in a non-conference match at UCLA that ended in a 2-2 draw. The Bruins had won the previous four matchups against the Trojans and are still unbeaten in the last five rivalry contests.
SCOUTING THE TROJANS
USC enters the week 7-3-2 overall and 6-3-1 in the Pac-12. The Trojans have recorded five straight shutouts and have not allowed a goal since the last time they played the Bruins on Mar. 18, a scoreless streak of 494 minutes. Last week, USC tied with Stanford, 0-0, then beat Cal, 5-0, on the strength of a Croix Bethune hat trick. Penelope Hocking leads the Trojans and is tied for the Pac-12 lead with UCLA's Reilyn Turner with nine goals and 21 points. Tara McKeown has six goals and six assists. Goalkeeper Kaylie Collins has posted four solo and three combined shutouts this season, posting a 0.93 goals against average.
UNBEATEN ON THE ROAD VS. UNBEATEN AT HOME
UCLA has been unbeaten on the road this season with a 6-0-0 record. USC has the same 6-0 record at home this year and has shut out its last five visitors. The Trojans are currently sitting on a 469-minute scoreless streak in the Coliseum.
LAST TIME VS. USC
In another classic Crosstown Showdown, No. 3 UCLA and No. 12 USC battled to a 2-2 tie at Wallis Annenberg Stadium after the Bruins came from behind to tie on Reilyn Turner's 86th minute goal. UCLA struck first in the 18th minute on a penalty kick goal by Marley Canales after Kennedy Faulknor was fouled in the box. Tara McKeown scored in the 38th and 68th minutes to put USC ahead 2-1, but a game-changing 1v1 save by Lauren Brzykcy on a Penelope Hocking breakaway in the 84th minute prevented a two-goal deficit. Just two minutes later, Turner tied it up and sent the game to overtime.
UCLA clinched the 2020 Pac-12 Women's Soccer Championship on Apr. 9 with two games to play after a 3-1 win over California coupled with a USC tie and Arizona State loss later in the day. The Bruins are 9-1-0 in conference play and with a win or tie would post their best conference record since going 10-0-1 in 2014. This is UCLA's 12th Pac-12 Conference title and first since 2014. It is the third Pac-12 championship for head coach Amanda Cromwell, who previously won in 2013 and 2014.
BAY AREA SWEEP
UCLA recorded its first sweep of the Bay Area schools since 2014, downing Cal 3-1 and Stanford 2-1 in overtime. Against Cal, the Bruins scored the first three goals, including a goal in the fourth minute. Marley Canales scored an Olimpico goal, directly off the corner kick at 3:44. Mia Fishel made it 2-0 in the 41st minute on an open net goal, and Reilyn Turner scored her team-leading eighth goal in the 72nd minute. The Bruins trailed at Stanford 1-0 after a 55th minute goal by Samantha Williams, but Turner tied it up in the 77th minute with a close-range shot off a Delanie Sheehan cross, and then Sheehan scored the game-winner on a rebound off Sunshine Fontes' saved shot less than a minute into the overtime period. The win over Stanford was the Bruins' first over the Cardinal since 2014, snapping a seven-game losing streak.
LEADERS OF THE PAC
UCLA is at the top of several stat categories in the Pac-12. Freshman forward Reilyn Turner is tied for the conference lead in goals (nine) and points (21). Sophomore Mia Fishel leads the Pac-12 with four game-winning goals. Senior Marley Canales leads all players with a 3-3 mark in penalty kicks. Goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy ranks first with seven shutouts, nine goals against, a 0.62 goals against average and 12 victories. Team-wise the Bruins are first in goals per game (2.21), goals (31), points (89), goals allowed (nine), and goals against average (0.62).
Freshman Reilyn Turner has made a big impression early on in her collegiate career, leading the team and the Pac-12 in scoring with 21 points and nine goals. Turner has recorded two multiple-goal games this season, netting two against Washington State and at Utah. In UCLA's last seven games, she has recorded seven goals and one assist. Turner has a propensity for late-game equalizing goals, scoring the tying goal in the 86th minute against USC to send the game to overtime and the equalizer in the 77th minute at Stanford in a 2-1 overtime win. 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.
SHEEHAN TOP OF CLASS AS SENIOR CLASS AWARD FINALIST
Senior CLASS Award finalist Delanie Sheehan has been top of class for the Bruins in all facets. This season, as te Bruins' 10, she has recorded three goals with a team-high-tying five assists. Against Stanford, she assisted on the tying goal in the 77th minute and scored the game-winner in the 91st minute to secure UCLA's first win over the Cardinal in seven years. The midfielder from Brentwood, Calif. has played in 83 career games for UCLA and started 67 while recording 14 goals and 18 assists. She earned All-Pac-12 honors in 2018 and Pac-12 All-Freshman honors in 2017 and was also selected to Top Drawer Soccer's Freshman Best XI first team. After being converted from a midfielder to a defender in 2018 and 2019, Sheehan earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honors twice and contributed to 25 shutouts. In the classroom, Sheehan has compiled a 3.0+ cumulative GPA, including a 3.7 GPA for the 2019-20 academic year, and in the community she has over 100 volunteer hours with a local soccer club and participated in UCLA's Dribble for the Cure, the Soccer United Against Hunger food drive in 2020 and elementary school visits in support of Reading Across America.
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 ranks second on the team in scoring with six goals and 16 points, and she leads the Pac-12 with four game-winning goals. In two seasons, she already has 20 goals, and half of those goals are game-winners. She needs one more game-winner to move into UCLA's Top 10. 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.
Senior midfielder Marley Canales has scored three penalty kick goals for the Bruins this season, including the game-winner in overtime against Oregon State, and is a perfect 6-for-6 from the penalty spot in her career. That tally doesn't even include the deciding penalty kick she hit in the 2017 NCAA semifinal shootout. Canales is tied for the team lead in assists with five and ranks tied for third in scoring with 13 points. 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. Four of her five assists this season have come off set pieces - three corner kicks and a free kick. She also scored a goal directly on a corner kick at California.
TIME TO SHINE
Redshirt freshman Sunshine Fontes has been a ray of light for the Bruins this season, scoring five goals off the bench and ranking third on the team in goals scored and points (13). Fontes recorded her first multi-goal game as a Bruin against Oregon, scoring two impressive goals, including the game-winner. She 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 59 minutes while earning her first start against Oregon State, and she played in a season-high 73 minutes against USC while recording five shots.
BRZYKCY BRICK WALL
In her first year as the full-time starter, redshirt junior goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy has been outstanding, leading the Pac-12 in goals against average (0.62), goals against (nine), shutouts (seven), and wins (12). On the national level, she ranks fifth in shutouts and 24th in save percentage. She has won Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Week honors twice this season.
UCLA has dominated the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week award this season, with four different players winning the award. No other school has more than two winners this year. The most recent honoree was Week 7 winner freshman Michaela Rosenbaum, who made a huge defensive play in the 2-2 draw with USC on Mar. 18, clearing a shot off the line while protecting the right post on a corner kick. Other defensive winners for UCLA have been Lucy Parker (Week 1), Jacey Pederson (Week 5) and Karina Rodriguez (Week 6). Additionally, Brianne Riley was named to College Soccer News' Team of the Week on Week 4.
ACL GANG COMING BACK STRONG
Ten of UCLA's 31 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. She has started every game for the Bruins this season. Marley Canales tore her ACL on Oct. 13, 2019 and came back with a three-assist game in the season opener and has four goals and a team-high five assists 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 second on the team in goals scored with five and is one of two Bruin players this season to record a multiple-goal game, scoring two against Oregon. Additionally, a 11th 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, with three freshmen getting at least four starts. Michaela Rosenbaum has started in the last 12 games, Reilyn Turner has 12 starts, and Megan Edelman has four. Rosenbaum, Turner and redshirt freshman Sunshine Fontes have played in all 14 games this season. Kaila Novak, has played in 13 games and has started in eight games. Edelman has played in 12 games, Aislynn Crowder has played in 11 games and earned her first start against Arizona State. Madelyn Desiano, who missed the last two seasons with ACL injuries, has played in eight games. True freshmen Jillian Martinez and Isabel Loza have played in six and three games, respectively.
POSTSEASON HEADS TO NORTH CAROLINA
The NCAA Tournament will move to a bubble-style format in different venues in the state of North Carolina this season. The 48-team bracket will be announced on Monday, April 19 at 10am PT on ncaa.com. The first round of the tournament will begin on April 27-28. The College Cup will take place in Cary, NC on May 13 and 17.