Late Comeback Sends UCLA to NCAA Third Round
Buies Creek, N.C. - Down a goal with five minutes to play, UCLA came from behind in stunning fashion to defeat Iowa, 2-1, in a NCAA second round game at Campbell University. Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Reilyn Turner scored both goals in the final five minutes, tying it up at 84:47 and scoring the game-winner at 89:30.
Iowa (7-9-1) led for nearly 80 minutes of the game after Hawkeyes' leading scorer Meike Ingles scored in the sixth minute. The Bruins (13-1-2) kept pushing for the tying goal in the half but were unable to break through despite 11 shots. Aislynn Crowder had a nice look in the box in the 30th minute, but her shot went wide. Turner had a shot go off the right post in the 33rd minute. Maricarmen Reyes shot in the box blocked in the final seconds of the half, giving UCLA one last corner kick, and Kennedy Faulknor's header off the corner was saved just before the halftime buzzer.
UCLA continued to create chances at the start of the second half, with Delanie Sheehan missing wide on a shot in the box in the 53rd minute, and Mia Fishel's shot in the box getting blocked a minute later. Chance after chance was thwarted by Iowa's defense until finally in the 85th minute, Crowder and Turner connected to put the Bruins right back in it. Crowder chested down the ball and sent a lofting pass up field to Turner, who batted it down with her right foot and then followed through with a shot that went through the goalkeeper's hands into the back of the net for her 10th goal of the year.
Given new life, the Bruins kept going for the game-winner, and it was Turner again off a big assist by Jacey Pederson. Pederson started the play by toeing the left sideline at midfield to keep the ball alive and then juked an Iowa player to find space before sending an excellent ball into the center of the box. Fishel got a foot on it and sent it to Turner, who fired to her left to beat the goalkeeper and complete the comeback.
"With this team, the mentality of losing is just isn't there," Turner said. "Today we just knew we weren't going to lose, and with the people we have on our team, we're not going to let each other down, and we're going to work together till the last whistle blows."
UCLA's depth played a huge part in the game, as a total of 18 players saw action, including two Bruins – sophomore Kali Trevithick and freshman Dasia Torbert - seeing their first minutes of the season after recovering from injuries sustained in the fall.
"Depth won us the game today," said UCLA head coach Amanda Cromwell. "We used seven subs, and I think our bench and the energy from our bench is a huge reason why we won. Everyone is just excited. There are no egos. No one cares who scores, no one cares who gets the most minutes. We just want to win games together and do it the right way, and we're doing that. Depth will continue to be a major advantage for us going forward."
The Bruins will next face No. 14 Clemson in the NCAA third round. The match will take place on Wednesday, May 5 at 6pm ET/3pm PT in Cary, N.C.