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Top-Ranked Women's Soccer Team Hosts Cal State Fullerton Sunday

Sep 8, 2022
Ellie Walbruch

No. 1 UCLA (5-0) vs. Cal State Fullerton (3-1-2)
Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022 – 5pm
Los Angeles, Calif. (Wallis Annenberg Stadium)

Television: Pac-12 Networks
Talent: Anne Marie Anderson
Live Stats:

Price at gate: $15 at gate/$10 youth (3-16); UCLA students free with BruinCard
Parking: purchase in advance on Park Mobile app

After beating both No. 2 Duke and No. 1 North Carolina in back-to-back games last week, UCLA (5-0) returns home as the new No. 1 for a Sunday, Sept. 11 non-conference matchup with Cal State Fullerton (3-1-2). The match will take place at Wallis Annenberg Stadium at 5pm.

UCLA jumped up to No. 1 in the coaches poll for the first time since holding the top spot for five weeks in 2017, from Sept. 5-Oct. 3. The Bruins' win over No. 1 North Carolina on Sept. 4 was their second ever over a top-ranked team and their second in a row after beating No. 1 Florida State on Aug. 29, 2019.

UCLA posted a pair of 2-1 road victories over the nation's top two teams last week, downing No. 2 Duke on Sept. 1 and No. 1 North Carolina on Sept. 4. Reilyn Turner scored the game-winning goal in both games, breaking the deadlock in the 62nd minute against the Blue Devils and then completing the comeback against North Carolina with an 84th minute goal. Lexi Wright assisted on Turner's game-winner at Duke and scored the tying goal at North Carolina. Defender Jayden Perry scored the Bruins' other goal, converting a penalty kick at Duke for the game's first score. Goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy tied her career-high in saves with nine at Duke and then made four clutch saves in the win at North Carolina.

Following the weekend sweep in North Carolina over the nation's Top 2 teams, Reilyn Turner and Lauren Brzykcy were selected the Pac-12 Offensive Player and Goalkeeper of the Week, respectively. Turner, who earned her second career weekly award, scored both game-winning goals against No. 2 Duke and No. 1 North Carolina, her first goals of the season. Turner has 23 goals and eight game-winning goals in just over two seasons. Brzykcy received her second consecutive and seventh career Pac-12 weekly nod after totaling 13 saves in the two victories. Against Duke, she tied her career-high with nine saves, making seven in the decisive second half, and she recorded four saves at North Carolina. With her saves total last weekend, Brzykcy moved into UCLA's all-time Top 5 for career saves with 179. Brzykcy's seven Goalkeeper of the Week awards put her one away from tying Teagan Micah's all-time school and conference record of eight.

For the second consecutive week, a Bruin was named the National Player of the Week by Top Drawer Soccer and College Soccer News. Last week was Sunshine Fontes after her hat trick against CSUN and game-winner against Santa Clara. This week's winner is Reilyn Turner, who scored both game-winners in road wins at No. 2 Duke and No. 1 North Carolina.

Since dropping its season opener at BYU, Cal State Fullerton has gone unbeaten with three wins and two ties. The Titans are coming off a weekend sweep in Utah during which they beat the Utah Utes, 1-0, and Southern Utah, 2-1. Maddie Kline leads the Titans in scoring with seven points and in assists with three. Goalkeeper Mia Ranson has recorded a 0.70 goals against average with two shutouts.

UCLA has won all 12 games in the series, including last season's 3-0 win in Fullerton. Maricarmen Reyes scored the game-winning goal in the 11th minute, and Quincy McMahon and Mia Fishel added second half goals. Michaela Rosenbaum contributed two assists. Lauren Brzykcy had light work, making two saves on four shots. This is Cal State Fullerton's first visit to Westwood since the 2007 season.

Graduate goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy has been a nearly inpenetrable brick wall this season. She leads the Pac-12 in save percentage (.895) and is tied for the conference lead in wins (five), shutouts (two) and goals allowed (two). Her goals agains average of 0.46 ranks third. Brzykcy tied her career-high in single-game saves with nine at Duke, and she has moved into UCLA's Top 5 in career saves with 179 and counting. With 22 career shutouts, Brzykcy is four away from the Top 5 in that category, and her 42 career wins put her just three away from the Top 5.

Junior forward Reilyn Turner came through with two more clutch game-winning goals in the Bruins' road sweep at Duke and North Carolina. In 41 career games, she has scored 23 goals, including eight game-winners and three second-half game-tying goals. Turner led UCLA in scoring as a freshman with 11 goals en route to winning Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honors. In 2021, she ranked second with 10 goals.

Sophomore Lexi Wright has been showing her stuff this season, ranking second on the team in scoring with six points on two goals and two assists. She recorded her first collegiate goal on Aug. 25 against CSUN and also added an assist. She assisted on the game-winner at No. 2 Duke and scored the second-half equalizer to jump-start UCLA's comeback win at No. 1 North Carolina.

Senior midfielder Sunshine Fontes has been a big bright spot for UCLA, leading the team with four goals, eight points and two game-winning goals. Fontes recorded her first collegiate hat trick on Aug. 25, netting three goals in 48 minutes of action against CSUN. All three goals were well-hit bombs from outside the box, including a bending free kick from approximately 25 yards out to complete the hat trick. It was the 28th hat trick in program history, with Fontes becoming 21st UCLA player to record one and first since Reilyn Turner on Sept. 5, 2021 at LMU. She struck again on Aug. 28, scoring the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win at Santa Clara. Fontes, who is the all-time leading scorer for the U.S. U-17 National Team with 24 goals, won national player of the week honors from both Top Drawer Soccer and College Soccer News.

All four of UCLA's goalkeepers saw action in the Bruins' 6-0 win over CSUN on Aug. 25. Lauren Brzykcy earned the victory, starting and playing 30 minutes before Kelly McManus replaced her for the remainder of the half with the Bruins up 3-0. McManus made one save in 15 minutes of action. In her first game back from the FIFA U-20 World Cup, freshman Neeku Purcell started the second half and played 35 minutes, making one save. Faith Nguyen made her collegiate debut, closing the game and preserving the clean sheet for the entire group.

With a deep and talented squad at her disposal, head coach Margueritte Aozasa has been able to seamlessly shuffle her starting lineup from game to game. Three players, however, have earned starts in all five games - graduate goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy, graduate defender Madelyn Desiano and freshman midfielder Ally Lemos. Six players have four starts - defenders Quincy McMahon, Jayden Perry and Lilly Reale, midfielder Sunshine Fontes and forwards Reilyn Turner and Ally Cook.

Three Bruins were tabbed for the United Soccer Coaches Preseason Watch Lists - goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy, defender Lilly Reale and forward Reilyn Turner. All three earned All-Pacific Region and All-Pac-12 honors a year ago. Brzykcy in 2020 was an All-American and the Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Year. Last season, she led the Pac-12 and ranked 10th nationally with a 0.55 goals against average. starting in 19 games and ranking second amongst UCLA field players in minutes played with 1,683. She contributed to nine shutouts and scored one goal and one assist. Reale earned first-team All-Pacific Region and All-Pac-12 honors and was named to Top Drawer Soccer's Freshman Best XI first team and to College Soccer News' All-Freshman first team. Turner is UCLA's top returning scorer from 2021 with 10 goals and 21 points. As a freshman, she led the Pac-12 in scoring with 11 goals and 27 points. She is a two-time all-region and all-conference selection and earned Pac-12 Freshman of the Year acclaim in 2020. Brzykcy and Reale were also named to the Hermann Trophy Watch List.

Four Bruins - Lauren Brzykcy, Ally Cook, Madelyn Desiano and Maricarmen Reyes - have extended their collegiate careers while earning a Master's degree in Transformative Coaching and Leadership at the UCLA School of Education and Information Studies. Brzykcy is in her sixth season with the Bruins, having joined the Bruins in 2017. She redshirted that season and received an extra year of eligibility due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Desiano arrived in Spring 2018 and had to sit both 2018 and 2019 due to knee injuries. Reyes' first season was 2018, and although she has played in each of the last three years, she has missed time each season due to injuries or National Team obligations. Cook is in her first year at UCLA, having transferred after three years at Oregon (2019-21).

The Bruins have undergone a transformation since last season, with new head coach Margueritte Aozasa (Santa Clara '12) taking the reigns as head coach of the Bruins on Dec. 29, 2021. Aozasa was an assistant coach at Stanford for seven years, helping guide the Cardinal to NCAA Championships in 2017 and 2019 and Pac-12 titles from 2015-19. Joining the coaching staff were assistant coaches Gof Boyoko, Molly Poletto and Chelsea Tudela.

UCLA also welcomed 12 new players to the squad in 2022, including 10 freshmen who make up the nation's top-ranked freshman class. Seven of those players were ranked in Top Drawer Soccer's Top 25 - Kathryn Kelly (No. 7), Neeku Purcell (No. 8), Ellie Walbruch (No. 16), Sofia Cook (No. 19), Peyton Marcisz (No. 20), America Frias (No. 22) and Ally Lemos (No. 24). Walbruch, Cook and Lemos all joined the team early during Winter quarter and had a chance to train and play with the Bruins in the Spring. Also new to the squad are transfers Ally Cook (Oregon) and Maya Evans (California). Cook was a three-year starting forward for the Ducks and earned second-team All-Pacific Region and third-team All-Pac-12 honors last season after leading the team with eight goals and 20 points. Evans comes to UCLA after two seasons in Berkeley. As a freshman in 2020, she started in 11 of 13 games and led the team with 975 minutes played, earning Pac-12 All-Freshman honors.

A total of 18 former UCLA women's soccer players are playing in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) in 2022. The Bruins are represented on eight teams, including four on NJ/NY Gotham FC (Caprice Dydasco, Delanie Sheehan, Taylor Smith, McCall Zerboni), three on Orlando (Darian Jenkins, Megan Montefusco and Viviana Villacorta), and OL Reign (Olivia Athens, Marley Canales and Lauren Barnes), two on Kansas City (Sam Mewis and Hailie Mace) and Washington (Karina Rodriguez and Ashley Sanchez), and one each on Angel City FC (Sydney Leroux), San Diego (Abby Dahlkemper), Chicago (Sarah Woldmoe) and North Carolina (Katelyn Rowland).

UCLA has several alumnae playing overseas as well, with Lucy Parker (West Ham United) and Jessie Fleming (Chelsea FC) in the Barclays FA Women's Super League in England; Teagan Micah playing for FC Rosengard in Sweden; Rachel Lowe (Sydney FC) playing in the W-League in Australia; and Mia Fishel and Anika Rodriguez playing with Tigres in Mexico. Siri Ervik plays for Kolbotn in Norway, and Chanté Sandiford plays for Stjarnan in Iceland.

For the 11th consecutive year, the UCLA women's soccer team has won a United Soccer Coaches College Team Academic Award, recognizing exemplary performance in the classroom during the 2021-22 academic year. The Bruins posted a team GPA of 3.35, their third consecutive over 3.25 and their highest since the 2016-17 squad also accumulated a 3.35 team GPA. A program-record 14 players were named to the Pac-12 Academic Honor Roll in 2021.

Follow UCLA Women's Soccer at @UCLAWSoccer on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok and /UCLAWSoccer on Facebook. The Bruins lead all collegiate soccer teams, men or women, in Instagram followers with 92.9k.