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Bruins Play Two in San Diego

Sep 15, 2021
Marley Canales

No. 3 UCLA (6-0) at San Diego (4-2)
Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021 – 6 p.m. PT
San Diego, Calif. (Torero Stadium)

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Price: $10 adults/$5 youth (4-12)

No. 3 UCLA (6-0) at San Diego State (2-5)
Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021 – 6 p.m. PT
San Diego, Calif. (SDSU Sports Deck)

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The third-ranked Bruins (6-0) will play a pair of games in San Diego this weekend, first taking on the University of San Diego Toreros (4-2) on Thursday, Sept. 16 at 6pm, followed by a Sunday, Sept. 19 contest at San Diego State (2-5), also at 6pm.

San Diego natives and San Diego Surf alumnae Marley Canales and Mia Fishel will play in their hometown for the last time as collegiate players this week. Canales is a graduate student playing in her fifth season, and Fishel, a junior, has announced that she will turn pro at the end of the season. All-Pac-12 midfielder Canales graduated from Westview HS and was the 2015 CIF All-San Diego Player of the Year and a 2014-15 California Gatorade Player of the Year finalist. Second-team All-American Fishel played high school soccer and basketball for two years at Patrick Henry HS.

UCLA will join the University of San Diego in wearing yellow laces at Thursday's game to show support for children with pediatric cancer. Organized by 2020 Athletes for Hope Student-Athlete of the Year Jillian Martinez, Bruin team members also made donations to pediatric cancer research.

UCLA won its sixth consecutive game and earned its fifth straight shutout after a 3-0 win over visiting CSUN on Sept. 13. The Bruins jumped ahead early on a sixth-minute goal by Mia Fishel and doubled their lead in the 27th minute on Reilyn Turner's fifth goal in an eight-day span. Olivia Athens, who assisted on Fishel's goal, scored her own in the second half on a diving header. Goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy kept her scoreless streak intact, making five saves while posting her fourth solo shutout.

Sophomore forward Reilyn Turner has been on a tear, scoring five goals in UCLA's last three games. She started her goal-scoring streak with a hat trick in the Bruins' 3-0 win at LMU and then scored the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win over No. 8 Santa Clara. Turner netted the Bruins' second goal in a 3-0 win over CSUN on Monday. She earned Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honors after her hat trick and continues to lead the team in goals (six), points (12) and game-winning goals (three). Turner is also tied for the Pac-12 lead in goals per game (1.0) and game-winning goals and is sixth and fourth nationally in those respective categories.

Redshirt junior defender Madelyn Desiano has recorded an assist in every game she has played in this season and ranks fourth nationally in assists per game with a 1.20 average. Desiano leads the Pac-12 in total assists with six. The two-time 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 450 minutes and has four solo shutouts (and one shared) to improve her career solo shutout total to 15, tying for eighth on UCLA's career shutout list. Her win over CSUN moved her into sole posession of seventh place on UCLA's career victories list with 27. Brzykcy is one of just four athletes in NCAA Division I who holds a 0.00 goals against average, and she also leads the nation in save percentage (1.00) and ranks sixth in shutouts with four.

Brzykcy earned Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Week and UCLA Student-Athlete of the Week honors this week after a spectactular performance against Santa Clara. She tied her career-high with nine saves on 18 shots, and she also set up the game-winning goal with a long service that found its way to Madelyn Desiano, who connected with Reilyn Turner for the goal.

After the 3-0 win over CSUN, UCLA has recorded five consecutive shutouts, the longest streak since the 2014 team had a school record-tying 10 in a row from Oct. 13-Nov. 23. Goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy has a shutout streak of 507 minutes dating back to last season.

USD enters the contest with a 4-2 record and is led in scoring by Michaela Foster, Delaney Jannone and Bekah Valdez, all of whom have two goals each. The Toreros have three common opponents with the Bruins, Cal State Fullerton, UC Irvine and Long Beach State, all victories. San Diego is coached by Louise Lieberman, who was an assistant coach at UCLA from 2009-16 and a Bruin player who helped the program claim its first two Pac-10 Championships in 1997 and 1998. UCLA made the NCAA Tournament in three of her four seasons, including the quarterfinals in 1997.

San Diego State will come into Sunday's contest with eight days of rest, as their last game was on Sept. 10 at San Diego, a 3-0 victory. Denise Castro leads the Aztecs with five goals and 10 points. Only one other SDSU player, Laura Fuentes, has scored a goal this season. UCLA and San Diego State have two common opponents so far this season, Pepperdine and Long Beach State. SDSU lost both of those contests, 3-0 to Pepperdine and 2-1 to Long Beach State, while UCLA shut out both teams (Pepperdine in an exhibition contest).

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 193 games for the Bruins, and Athens and Canales have started all six of UCLA's games this season.

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.

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 five games this season, McMahon has three starts, and Perry has two.

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 ongoing camp that began Sept. 12 to prepare for a match against Colombia on Sept. 21. Goalkeeper Idalia Serrano received her first call-up this summer for a training camp in El Salvador. Forward Mia Fishel spent time last October at U.S. Women's National Team camp in Colorado.

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.