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UCLA Overcomes Two-Goal Deficit to Tie USC, 2-2

Apr 16, 2021
UCLA celebrates Olivia Athens' tying goal

LOS ANGELES – UCLA seniors Delanie Sheehan and Olivia Athens were determined not to let their career unbeaten streak against USC end at the Coliseum Friday night in the regular season finale. So when the Bruins fell behind 2-0, they took it upon themselves to rally the team back with second half goals that sent the game to overtime, where it finished in a 2-2 draw for the second time this season.

USC jumped out to a 1-0 lead after just 10 minutes on Penelope Hocking's 10th goal of the season. The Trojans struck early again at the start of the second half on a Tara McKeown header off a corner kick to give USC a 2-0 lead in the 47th minute.

But no lead has been safe around the Bruins this season. Sheehan brought UCLA to within one in the 56th minute on a give-and-go with Mia Fishel. Sheehan dribbled up the center of the field and passed to Fishel, who made a nifty move in traffic to send the ball to a surging Sheehan in the box. Sheehan beat USC goalkeeper Kaylie Collins with a shot to her left for her fourth goal of the season.

The Trojans had a chance to go back up by two in the 63rd minute, but UCLA goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy made a good save on a hard shot by McKeown. Brzykcy finished the game with eight saves. Collins came up big for USC as well, saving a shot by Canales in the 76th minute and by Pederson in the 80th.

But there was no stopping Athens in the 88th minute. The senior midfielder who scored the game-winning goal on a header in double overtime at USC in 2018 made magic again. Marley Canales sent a free kick into the box. Reilyn Turner headed it right to Athens, whose header bounced past Collins for the equalizer.

The Bruins had four shots on goal in the overtime but could not find the back of the net, and, like the two teams' earlier contest in March in Westwood, the Crosstown Showdown ended in a 2-2 tie.

UCLA wraps up the regular season with a 12-1-2 overall record. The Pac-12 champions finished with a league mark of 9-1-1. USC secured second place in the conference with a 6-3-1 conference record and 7-3-2 overall mark.

The Bruins will find out their NCAA Tournament path and seeding on Monday, April 19 when the 48-team NCAA Tournament bracket is revealed.