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No. 1 UCLA Travels to No. 9 Pepperdine Sunday

Sep 17, 2022
Ally Cook

No. 1 UCLA (7-0-0) at No. 9 Pepperdine (6-0-2)
Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022 – 1pm
Malibu, Calif. (Tari Frahm Rokus Field)
Live Stream: WCC Network
Live Stats:

No. 1 UCLA concludes it non-conference schedule on Sunday, Sept. 18 with a road contest at No. 9 Pepperdine. The match will take place at 1pm at Tari Frahm Rokus Field on the Pepperdine campus in Malibu. This will be UCLA's third Top 10 road matchup in three weeks. The Bruins faced No. 2 Duke and No. 1 North Carolina the first week of September and won both games by a 2-1 score.

For the second consecutive week, UCLA remained No. 1 in the United Soccer Coaches poll and the Top Drawer Soccer poll. The last time UCLA held the top spot in the United Soccer Coaches poll prior to this season was 2017, when the Bruins were No. 1 for five weeks from Sept. 5-Oct. 3. UCLA's Sept. 4 win over No. 1 North Carolina was its second ever over a top-ranked team and second in a row after beating No. 1 Florida State on Aug. 29, 2019.

Pepperdine is the third Top 10 team on the Bruins' schedule this season. The Waves enter Sunday's game unbeaten in 2022 with a 6-0-2 record and have recorded six shutouts in their eight games. Goalkeeper Ellie Sommers has posted a 0.18 goals against average, which ranks amongst the Top 10 in the nation. The Waves have four players who have scored four or more goals already this season - Carlee Giammona (5g, 3a), Tori Waldeck (4g, 2a), Leyla McFarland (4g, 1a) and Tatum Wynalda (4g, 1a).

UCLA is unbeaten in the last 11 matchups with Pepperdine and won the last contest, 3-0, in Malibu in the 2020-21 season opener. Reilyn Turner assisted on the game's first goal and scored the second in her collegiate debut. Pepperdine's last win over UCLA came at home in 2010, 1-0. The Bruins hold a 20-3-4 advantage in the series.

Freshmen Ellie Walbruch and Sofia Cook led the way, scoring both goals in UCLA's 2-0 win over San Diego State Thursday night. The Bruins outshot the Aztecs, 31-3, and had a 10-2 shot on goal advantage. Walbruch put UCLA ahead in the 41st minute with a left-footed rocket, her first collegiate goal. Cook doubled the Bruins' lead in the 53rd minute, heading in a rebounded shot from Lexi Wright. Goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy earned the shutout, making two saves.

Senior forward Kali Trevithick has spent the better part of her four years on the injured list, having undergone multiple knee surgeries. She began her freshman season on a tear, scoring two goals and two assists in the team's first two exhibition games and started the first four regular season contests before a knee injury knocked her out until November. She played the final six games of the year and totaled two goals and one assist. She missed all but the final two games of the 2020-21 campaign and all of the 2021 season but finally got back on the pitch on Sept. 11 for her first game since May 5, 2021. Trevithick made the most of her return, scoring less than two minutes after entering the game against CSUN. Two minutes after that, she scored her second goal in the Bruins' 5-1 victory. Trevithick has played in just 13 games and 482 minutes at UCLA but has scored four goals and two assists.

UCLA's Mexican National Team players Maricarmen Reyes, Bridgette Marin-Valencia and America Frias all saw action for the first time together as Bruins on Sept. 11 vs. Cal State Fullerton. Marin-Valencia and Frias made their UCLA debuts after missing the early part of the season while competing at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup. Reyes, who plays on the full national team, scored the game-winner, a sharp-angled screamer for her second goal of the season. The U-20 players also saw productive minutes, with Marin-Valencia recording an assist and two shots in 29 minutes of play, and Frias playing 18 minutes.

Graduate goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy has been a nearly inpenetrable brick wall this season. She leads the Pac-12 in save percentage (.870) and wins (seven) and ranks second in shutouts with three solo and one saved and goals allowed with three. Brzykcy tied her career-high in single-game saves with nine at No. 2 Duke, and she has moved into UCLA's Top 5 in career saves with 182 and counting. With 23 career shutouts, Brzykcy is three away from the Top 5 in that category, and her 44 career wins put her just one away from the Top 5.

Senior midfielder Sunshine Fontes has been a big bright spot for UCLA, leading the team with five goals, 11 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 after her four-goal weekend.

Sophomore Lexi Wright has been showing her stuff this season, ranking second on the team in scoring with six points on two goals and three 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.

Leading the Bruins in assists this season are freshman Ally Lemos and sophomores Lexi Wright and Quincy McMahon with three apiece. At least one of the three have recorded an assist in five of the Bruins' seven games. McMahon ranked second on the team in assists in 2021 with seven.

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. Two players, however, have earned starts in all seven games - graduate goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy and freshman midfielder Ally Lemos. Five players have six starts - defenders Quincy McMahon, Jayden Perry, Lilly Reale and Madelyn Desiano and forward Reilyn Turner.

UCLA posted a pair of 2-1 road victories over the nation's top two teams to start the month, 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.

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.