Top 10 Matchup Ahead as No. 4 UCLA Hosts No. 8 Santa Clara
No. 4 UCLA (4-0-0) vs. No. 8 Santa Clara (3-1-2)
Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021 – 7 p.m. PT
Los Angeles, Calif. (Wallis Annenberg Stadium)
TOP 10 MATCHUP AHEAD
Reigning Pac-12 champion UCLA will take on defending NCAA champion Santa Clara in a Top 10 matchup at Wallis Annenberg Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 9. The match between No. 4 UCLA (4-0-0) and No. 8 Santa Clara (3-1-2) will begin at 7pm and will be televised live on Pac-12 Network.
BRUINS AGAINST DEFENDING CHAMPS
UCLA will be going after its fourth-straight win over a reigning national championship team when it plays Santa Clara on Thursday. The Bruins have won three straight and five of the last six against defending NCAA champions, with wins over 2019 champion Stanford (1-0 on Apr. 11, 2021), 2018 champion Florida State (2-1 on Aug. 29, 2019 and 4-0 on Nov. 29, 2019), 2016 champion USC (3-2 in overtime in 2017) and 2015 champion Penn State (1-0 in overtime in 2016).
ANGEL CITY FC NIGHT
Thursday's match will be a showcase of elite women's soccer in the state of California. On a night when the top two collegiate teams in the state - UCLA and Santa Clara - are playing, California's first NWSL franchise - Angel City FC - will be celebrated on Angel City FC Night. Bruin coaches Amanda Cromwell and Saskia Webber are founding investors of Angel City FC, which begins its inaugural season in 2022.
A first-half hat trick by Reilyn Turner was all UCLA needed in a dominating 3-0 victory at Loyola Marymount. Turner scored all three goals in a 30-minute span (6', 17', 36'), giving the Bruins a three-goal cushion after 35 minutes of play. UCLA outshot the Lions, 22-3, and the Bruin defense earned their third consecutive shutout, a shared shutout by Lauren Brzykcy and Hannah Mitchell. A total of 25 Bruin players saw the pitch, including freshman Clara Hardling, who played her first collegiate minutes.
Reilyn Turner's hat trick against LMU was the 27th by a Bruin player, and the first since Hailie Mace also scored three in the first half against Santa Clara in 2017. It took Turner just 35 minutes to get her hat trick, the fastest by a Bruin since Sydney Leroux scored three in the first 28 minutes of the game against Colorado in 2011. UCLA's last five hat tricks - by Turner, Mace, Darian Jenkins, and Leroux (twice) - were all scored in the first half of play. Turner's hat trick gave her Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honors and put her into a tie for first in the Pac-12 in goals per game (1.00) and into the team lead in scoring with four goals and eight points.
Redshirt junior defender Madelyn Desiano is tied for the Pac-12 lead in assists with five and ranks fifth nationally in assists per game (1.25). Desiano has assisted on half of UCLA's goals on the year (three of the 10 goals are unassisted). Week one's Pac-12 Defender of the Week has started in four games this season, her first career starts after playing in 11 games last season and sitting out all of 2018 and 2019 while recovering from season-ending knee surgeries.
Senior goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy is off to another fantastic start to the season. The 2020 All-American has not allowed a goal in 270 minutes and has two solo shutouts (and one shared) to improve her career solo shutout total to 13. She needs one more to move up to ninth on UCLA's career shutout list. Brzykcy's win over LMU pushed her into eighth on UCLA's career victories list with 25. Brzykcy has only been pressed into making three saves in four games, thanks to the Bruin defense, which has allowed an average of just 3.25 shots and 1.75 shots on goal per game.
SCOUTING THE BRONCOS
Santa Clara returns nine starters from last season's NCAA Championship squad, including 2020-21 Honda Award winner and College Cup Most Outstanding Defensive Player Alex Loera and College Cup Most Outstanding Offensive Player Kelsey Turnbow. Both players, along with Izzy D'Aquila, were named to the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List. The Broncos have started the season 3-1-2, its lone loss coming 1-0 to No. 3 Virginia. Turnbow leads the team in scoring with three goals, two assists and eight points. Goalkeeper Marlee Nicolos has two shutouts and a 0.62 GAA.
A trio of fifth-year players - graduate students Olivia Athens and Marley Canales and fifth-year senior Kennedy Faulknor - are bringing veteran leadership to the Bruins in 2021. Athens is enrolled in UCLA's Master of Legal Studies program, Canales is enrolled in UCLA's Graduate School of Education, pursuing a master's degree in transformative coaching and leadership, and Faulknor is wrapping up her sociology degree. The trio have played a combined 189 games for the Bruins.
UCLA returns its top four leading scorers in Reilyn Turner (11g, 5a, 27pts), Mia Fishel (6g, 6a, 18pts), Marley Canales (4g, 6a, 14pts) and Sunshine Fontes (5g, 3a, 13pts). The foursome combined to score 72% of UCLA's goals in 2020 (26 of 36). Overall, UCLA returns 83% of its goal production and 81% of its points production. Goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy, who played every minute of every game in 2020, is also back after her All-American season. Eight players who started at least 11 of UCLA's 17 games last season are back - 17-game starters Brzykcy, Canales and Brianne Riley; 16-game starters Fishel and Olivia Athens; 15-game starter Turner; 14-game starter Michaela Rosenbaum; and 11-game starter Kaila Novak.
WHAT'S NEW, BRU?
While returning 29 players from last season's roster, the Bruins are looking to replace starters Delanie Sheehan, Lucy Parker, Karina Rodriguez and Jacey Pederson. To do so, UCLA brought in the nation's No. 6-ranked recruiting class, led by a trio of U.S. Youth National Team players in defender Lilly Reale, midfielder Emma Egizii and defender Quincy McMahon and a pair of youth internationals in defenders Clara Härdling and My Haugland Sørsdahl. Also joining the squad this season are goalkeeper Faith Nguyen, defender Jayden Perry and forward Lexi Wright. Reale has started in every game this season and ranks second on the team in minutes played (303). McMahon has started in three of four games, and Perry earned her first start at LMU on Sunday.
BIG DRAW BRUINS
The Bruins played in front of a Cal State Fullerton record crowd of 7,832 on Aug. 22, the seventh-largest regular season crowd in NCAA women's soccer history. The Bruins have played in six of the Top 7 most-attended regular season games in NCAA history, including each of the Top 3.
NCAA Women's Soccer Regular Season Single-Game Attendance Records
1) 11,925 - Nov. 3, 2017, USC at UCLA (Drake Stadium)
2) 10,128 - Nov. 7, 2014, UCLA at USC (Los Angeles Coliseum)
3) 8,555 - Nov. 2, 2018, UCLA vs. USC (StubHub Center)
4) 8,527 - Oct. 22, 2010, UCLA at USC (Los Angeles Coliseum)
5) 8,508 - Nov. 4, 2016, UCLA vs. USC (StubHub Center)
6) 8,204 - Aug. 25, 2006, North Carolina at Texas A&M (College Station, TX)
7) 7,832 - Aug. 22, 2021, UCLA at Cal State Fullerton (Titan Stadium)
DEFENDING THE PAC
The Bruins enter 2021 as the reigning Pac-12 champions after winning the 2020 crown with a 9-1-1 record in league play. The conference title was UCLA's 12th overall and first since 2014. UCLA returns four all-conference players in Goalkeeper of the Year Lauren Brzykcy, Freshman of the Year Reilyn Turner, first-team honoree Mia Fishel and second-team selection Marley Canales, along with All-Freshman team members Sunshine Fontes and Kaila Novak. Additionally, head coach Amanda Cromwell received her second Pac-12 Coach of the Year award.
BRUINS TO WATCH FOR HERMANN TROPHY
All-Americans Lauren Brzykcy and Mia Fishel were named to the Hermann Trophy Women's Watch List for 2021. Fishel was a second-team All-American in 2020 after tying for the team lead in assists (six) and ranking second on the squad in goals (six) and points (18). She also led the Pac-12 with four game-winning goals. Brzykcy, a third-team All-American, totaled seven shutouts and a 0.73 goals against average while playing every minute of every game. She was named the Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Year and earned first-team Scholar All-America honors.
REPRESENTING THEIR COUNTRIES
Three current Bruins have earned recent call-ups with their respective country's national team. Maricarmen Reyes has been called up three times for Mexico, including an upcoming camp beginning Sept. 12 to prepare for a match against Colombia on Sept. 21. Idalia Serrano received her first call-up this summer for a training camp in El Salvador. Mia Fishel spent time last October at U.S. Women's National Team camp in Colorado.
UCLA will host CSUN on Monday, Sept. 13 at 6pm before playing at San Diego on Thursday, Sept. 16 and at San Diego State on Sunday, Sept. 19.