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UCLA Hosts USC with Pac-12 Women's Soccer Title on Line

Nov 4, 2021
Reilyn Turner

No. 3 UCLA (15-0-3, 7-0-3) vs. No. 8 USC (13-2-2, 8-0-2)
Friday, Nov. 5, 2021 – 8 p.m. PT
Los Angeles, Calif. (Wallis Annenberg Stadium)

TV Broadcast: Pac-12 Networks
TV Talent: Christian Miles, Tracey Bailey
Audio Broadcast:
Audio Talent: Nick Koop
Live Stats:

Tickets: Advance tickets are sold out; fans can wait in a standby line prior to the game (standing in the line does not guarantee admission)
Parking: purchase in advance on Park Mobile app

The 2021 Crosstown Showdown between UCLA and USC has escalated to even greater levels this season, with the Pac-12 title on the line Friday, Nov. 5 when the two teams play in the regular season finale. The match will take place at 8pm at Wallis Annenberg Stadium and will be televised live on Pac-12 Networks and audio broadcast at Advance tickets are sold out. There will be a standby line near the main entrance if seating becomes available; however, standing in line does not guarantee admission. A UCLA win will give the Bruins back-to-back Pac-12 titles. A USC win or draw will give the Trojans their first outright conference title.

At stake on Friday are bragging rights in the city of Los Angeles and the Pac-12 Conference title. UCLA is the reigning Pac-12 champion and winners of 12 conference titles (1997, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2013, 2014, 2020). USC's lone Pac-12 title was a shared title in 1998 with UCLA and California. The Trojans stand in first place in the current standings with 26 points and an 8-0-2 conference record, while UCLA is two points behind with 24 points and a 7-0-3 conference record. Although the Pac-12 does not have a conference championship, this match essentially will serve as a Pac-12 Championship game and marks the first time since 2001 that the top two teams in the conference have faced each other on the last day of the regular season with the title on the line.

UCLA leads the all-time series with USC, 26-6-3, and are unbeaten in the last six matchups. No players on the Bruins' current team has ever lost to the Trojans, whose last victory came in 2015. Four of the last five matchups have gone to overtime - both matches last season were 2-2 ties, the 2018 contest was won 3-2 in double overtime by UCLA, and the 2017 game was won 3-2 in overtime by UCLA. Both of the matches in 2020-21 went to overtime thanks to late goals by the Bruins. In the game at UCLA on Mar. 18, Reilyn Turner scored the equalizer in the 86th minute after USC had rallied to take a 2-1 lead on a pair of goals by Tara McKeon. In the game at the Coliseum on April 16, the Trojans jumped out to a 2-0 lead after 46 minutes thanks to goals by Penelope Hocking and McKeon, but UCLA rallied with a 56th minute goal by Delanie Sheehan and an 88th minute equalizer by Olivia Athens. It wasn't the first time that Athens played the hero against USC. In 2018, she scored the game-winner in double overtime, giving UCLA the 3-2 victory. USC looked as if it had scored the game-winner at 86:26 on a Hocking goal, but just six seconds later, Hailie Mace bombed a 30-yard shot to tie the game. UCLA goalkeeper Teagan Micah make an acrobatic save on an on-target shot by Hocking with just two seconds left in regulation to take it to overtime.

UCLA vs. USC since 2016
4/16/21 @ USC: UCLA 2, USC 2 (2OT)
Scoring: USC Hocking (10'), USC McKeown (47'), UCLA Sheehan (56'), UCLA Athens (88')

3/18/21 @ UCLA: UCLA 2, USC 2 (2OT)
Scoring: UCLA Canales (18'), USC McKeown (38'), USC McKeown (68'), UCLA Turner (86')

11/8/19 @ UCLA: UCLA 4, USC 2
Scoring: USC Jacobs (5'), UCLA Castaneda (22'), UCLA Fishel (27'), USC Hocking (43'), UCLA Villacorta (75'), UCLA Parker (78')

11/2/18 @ USC: UCLA 3, USC 2 (2OT)
Scoring: USC DeMelo (36'), UCLA Hernandez (52'), USC Hocking (87'), UCLA Mace (87'), UCLA Athens (105')

11/3/17 @ UCLA: UCLA 3, USC 2 (OT)
Scoring: USC Molen (11'), UCLA McCullough (25'), USC Molen (34'), UCLA A. Rodriguez (65'), UCLA Sanchez (92')

11/4/16 @ USC: UCLA 1, USC 0
Scoring: UCLA Alvarado (27')

USC enters the game with a 13-2-2 overall and 8-0-2 Pac-12 record. In their last game on Sunday, the Trojans rallied from a halftime deficit to beat Stanford 3-2 in overtime on a 93rd minute goal by Croix Bethune, her second goal of the game. Bethune leads the Trojans with 13 goals, seven assists and 33 points and ranks second in the Pac-12 in goals and points. Penelope Hocking, who is USC's all-time leading scorer with 51 career goals, ranks just behind Bethune with nine goals and 22 points. The Trojans lead the Pac-12 in goals (47), assists (45) and points (139).

UCLA moved up two spots to third in the United Soccer Coaches poll and remained at third in the Top Drawer Soccer national rankings. The Bruins have been ranked in the Top 10 of the coaches poll in 20 consecutive weeks.

The Bruins used a pair of dramatic late-game shutout victories to remain in contention for the Pac-12 title. Nothing short of a victory over each team would have eliminated UCLA from the race, and they beat Stanford on Oct. 28 on an 86th minute goal by Maricarmen Reyes and then stopped California in double overtime on Oct. 31 on Mia Fishel's game-winning goal.

The Bruins head into the final week of the regular season unbeaten with a 15-0-3 record. UCLA's unbeaten streak now stands at 25 matches, with the Bruins' last loss coming at the hands of Arizona State on Mar. 26, 2021. UCLA is the lone unbeaten team in NCAA Division I. USC also has a lengthy unbeaten streak. After losing their first two games of the season, the Trojans are unbeaten in their last 15 games.

Senior goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy earned her third Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Week honor of the season after recording her eighth and ninth shutouts of the year against Stanford and California. The shutouts put Brzykcy in a tie for the Pac-12 lead for solo shutouts; she also has one shared shutout. Additionally, Brzykcy lowered her goals against average to 0.50 and holds a Pac-12 best 15 wins.

The Bruins boast one of the most formidable 1-2 punches in the country in forwards Mia Fishel (12 goals) and Reilyn Turner (nine goals). They have totaled 21 goals this season, with Fishel scoring nine in her last 12 games and Turner scoring eight in her last 15, including a hat trick in the Bruins' 3-0 win at LMU on Sept. 5. The dynamic duo have scored 57% (21 of 37) of UCLA's total goals this year. Over the last two seasons, Fishel and Turner have combined for 38 goals.

Senior goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy is having another fantastic season. The 2020 All-American has allowed just nine goals in 1,522 minutes and has eight solo shutouts (and one shared) to improve her career solo shutout total to 19, sixth on UCLA's career shutout list. She is also seventh on the UCLA career victories list with 35. Brzykcy ranks second in the Pac-12 in shutouts (16th nationally), goals against average with a 0.53 GAA (11th nationally) and save percentage (0.875, seventh nationally). Brzykcy has earned Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Week honors twice this season, 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 in that game with a long service that found its way to Madelyn Desiano, who connected with Reilyn Turner for the goal.

UCLA's back line of Madelyn Desiano/Quincy McMahon, 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 10 shutouts in 18 games and a team goals against average of 0.52 (10th-best in the nation, second in the conference). They have allowed single-digit shots in 10 games and four or less in six games and have also contributed offensively. Desiano ranks third in the Pac-12 in assists with nine, McMahon is fourth in the conference with seven assists and also has one goal, Kerr has one assist, Reale has one goal and one assist, and Riley has recorded one goal with three assists.

Redshirt junior defender Madelyn Desiano has been among the Pac-12 assist leaders all season, currently ranking third with nine assists and a 0.53 assists per game average. The two-time Pac-12 Defender of the Week had a two-assist game in the season opener and recorded an assist in each of the first six games of the year. Desiano has started in 12 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. Freshman Quincy McMahon ranks just below Desiano at fourth in the Pac-12 with seven assists, including five in league play.

UCLA has scored in the first 10 minutes of the game six times this season and has scored 10 goals during the first 15 minutes of play. The Bruins have scored 25 of their 37 goals in the first half and have scored the game's first goal in every game. Bruin opponents have scored in the first half in just two games for a total of four goals.

UCLA held an eight-game shutout streak from Aug. 22-Sept. 24. The streak was snapped after 793 minutes on Sept. 30 at Arizona in the 52nd minute.The streak was UCLA's longest since the 2014 team had a school record-tying 10 in a row from Oct. 13-Nov. 23. Goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy had her shutout streak snapped at 849 minutes, just 120 minutes shy of Katelyn Rowland's school record of 969 consecutive shutout minutes set in 2014.

Bruin senior Maricarmen Reyes has enjoyed two separate stints with the Mexican National team this season, and each time she has come back to Los Angeles from Mexico, she has scored a goal for the Bruins. On Oct. 22, she started in Mexico's 6-1 victory over Argentina, and six days later, she returned to score a late game-winning goal in UCLA's 1-0 win over Stanford. On Sept. 21, she scored her first international goal, the game-winner for Mexico against Colombia. In her second game back with the Bruins upon her return, she scored the game-winner for the Bruins at Arizona. Senior goalkeeper Idalia Serrano also enjoyed a September call-up with El Salvador's national team and started in a 6-0 training game victory over Santa Tecla FC on Sept. 20.

A quartet of fifth-year players - graduate students Olivia Athens and Marley Canales and fifth-year seniors Lauren Brzykcy and Kennedy Faulknor - have brought veteran leadership to the Bruins in 2021. Athens is enrolled in UCLA's Master of Legal Studies program, and Canales is enrolled in UCLA's Graduate School of Education, pursuing a master's degree in transformative coaching and leadership. Brzykcy and Faulknor are wrapping up their sociology degrees. The fifth-years have played a combined 275 games for UCLA and have all started the last five games. Canales and Brzykcy have started all 18 of UCLA's games this season, and Athens has started in 17. Each of the three field players have scored a goal this year, with Athens and Faulknor leading the way among the group with three goals each. Canales is right behind with two goals.

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 17 of 18 games, McMahon has 10 starts and ranks second on the team and fourth in the Pac-12 with seven assists. Perry and Wright each have two starts. Also seeing action this year have been Clara Härdling (four games played) and My Haugland Sørsdahl (three games played). Wright made her season debut at San Diego on Sept. 16 and assisted on the game-winning goal against Stanford. Additionally, Emma Egiizi played in the season opener and scored a goal in the exhibition against Pepperdine but is sidelined with a knee injury. Reale and McMahon are ranked in the Top 20 of Top Drawer Soccer's Midseason Top 100 Freshman list, with Reale sitting at No. 3 and McMahon No. 20.

Goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy is tied for the Pac-12 lead with nine shutouts, and forward Mia Fishel is the Pac-12 leader with six game-winning goals. As a team, the Bruins are No. 1 in the conference and No. 4 nationally in save percentage (0.873) and tops in the conference and second nationally in W-L-T percentage (0.917).

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 ranking in the Top 20 nationally in shutouts (nine, 7th), goals against average (0.498, 10th) and save percentage (0.878, 8th). Fishel ranks third nationally in the nation in game-winning goals (six) and third in the Pac-12 in goals (12) and points (28). Fishel was a second-team All-American in 2020 after tying for the team lead with six assists and ranking second on the squad in goals (six) and points (18). She also led the Pac-12 with four game-winning goals. She has moved into UCLA's Top 10 in career goals with 32, ranking ninth all-time. Brzykcy, a third-team All-American, totaled seven shutouts and a 0.73 goals against average while playing every minute of every game last season. She was named the Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Year and earned first-team Scholar All-America honors. Brzykcy ranks in UCLA's Top 7 in career saves (159), shutouts (20) and wins (36).