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Bruins Begin Pac-12 Play Friday vs. Oregon

Sep 22, 2021
Sunshine Fontes

No. 3 UCLA (8-0-0) vs. Oregon (5-0-3)
Friday, Sept. 24, 2021 – 7 p.m. PT
Los Angeles, Calif. (Wallis Annenberg Stadium)

TV Broadcast: Pac-12 Network
TV Talent: Christian Miles
Live Stats:

Price: $10 adults/$5 youth (3-16); UCLA students free with BruinCard; All tickets are digital
Giveaway: First 200 fans receive a team poster
Parking: purchase in advance on Park Mobile app

UCLA's Pac-12 title defense begins on Friday, Sept. 24 when fellow unbeaten Oregon visits for the conference opener. The match between the Bruins (8-0-0) and Ducks (5-0-3) will be televised live on Pac-12 Network at 7pm.

San Diego native Mia Fishel scored her fourth goal of the week and her third game-winner in a 2-0 victory at San Diego State on Sunday. Fishel made the most of her first hometown visit as a Bruin, scoring two first-half goals in a 2-0 UCLA win over the University of San Diego on Thursday and a 10th-minute goal in a 2-0 win at San Diego State on Sunday. Reilyn Turner added an insurance goal against the Aztecs in the 72nd minute, and the Bruin defense allowed just three shots, all in the second half, while recording their seventh-straight shutout.

The Bruins boast perhaps the most formidable 1-2 punch in the country in forwards Mia Fishel and Reilyn Turner. Each has scored seven goals this season, with Fishel scoring four in the last three games and Turner scoring six in the last five, including a hat trick in the Bruins' 3-0 win at LMU on Sept. 5. The dynamic duo have scored all but one of UCLA's last 13 goals and 78% (14 of 18) of the Bruins' total goals this year.

UCLA's back line of Madelyn Desiano, Kylie Kerr, Lilly Reale and Brianne Riley entered this season with a total of 18 career starts (all by Riley) and 56 games played, but the inexperience has hardly shown. The back line has contributed to seven shutouts in a row and a team goals against average of 0.13 (second-best in the nation). They have allowed single-digit shots in six of eight games, including three in each of the last two games.

Redshirt junior defender Madelyn Desiano has recorded an assist in all but one game she has played in this season and ranks fifth nationally and first in the conference in assists (7) and assists per game (1.0). The two-time Pac-12 Defender of the Week has started in five 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 630 minutes and has six solo shutouts (and one shared) to improve her career solo shutout total to 17, tying for seventh on UCLA's career shutout list. She is also tied for seventh on the UCLA career victories list with 29. 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 shutouts (six) and save percentage (1.00).

Brzykcy has earned Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Week honors in each of the last two weeks, and in the Bruins' 1-0 win over defending NCAA champion Santa Clara, she tied her career-high with nine saves on 18 shots. 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 three shutout wins last week, UCLA has recorded seven consecutive shutouts, the program's 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 687 minutes dating back to last season.

UCLA swept the Pac-12 Player of the Week awards, with Mia Fishel earning her first Offensive Player of the Week award this season, Lauren Brykcy winning her second straight goalkeeper award, and Kylie Kerr receiving her first career Defensive Player of the Week honor. UCLA has won at least one weekly award in four of the season's five weeks, with five different athletes earning weekly honors. This is only the seventh time ever and the first time since 2018 that all three awards have been won by one school.

Oregon enters Friday's game with a 5-0-3 record, going unbeaten in nonconference play for the first time since 1981. Dating back to last season, Oregon is unbeaten in its last 10 games (6-0-4). The Ducks return all 11 starters from last year, including Ally Cook, who ranks seventh all-time at Oregon in goals scored (14). Cook leads the team in scoring in 2021 with five goals and 11 points. Goalkeeper Leah Freeman has four shutouts and a goals against average of 0.55 in six games.

Bruin seniors Maricarmen Reyes and Idalia Serrano have been away from Westwood with their respective national teams. Reyes scored the game-winning goal in Mexico's 2-0 victory over Colombia on Tuesday night, her first international goal. Serrano has been training with El Salvador's national team and started in a 6-0 training game against Santa Tecla FC on Monday.

UCLA moved up to second in the Top Drawer Soccer national rankings and remained at third in the United Soccer Coaches poll. The Bruins have been ranked in the Top 5 of the coaches poll in 13 consecutive weeks.

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 196 games for the Bruins, and Canales has started all eight of UCLA's games this season, and Athens has started in seven games.

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.

UCLA's No. 6-ranked recruiting class has been strong contributors to the team this season, with defenders Lilly Reale and Jayden Perry and midfielder Quincy McMahon starting in multiple games. Reale has started in seven of eight games, McMahon has five starts, and Perry has two. Also seeing action this year have been Clara Härdling (four games played), My Haugland Sørsdahl (three games played) and Lexi Wright (two games played). Wright made her first apperances of the season last week at San Diego and San Diego State and set up the game-winning goals against the Toreros in her collegiate debut. Emma Egiizi played in the season opener and scored a goal in the exhibition against Pepperdine but is sidelined with a knee injury.

All-Americans Lauren Brzykcy and Mia Fishel were named to the Hermann Trophy Women's Watch List for 2021 and have certainly lived up to the billing, with Bryzkcy leading the nation in goals against average (0.00), shutouts (six) and save percentage (1.00) and Fishel ranking first in the nation in game-winning goals (four) and second in the Pac-12 in goals (seven) and points (14). 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.