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Women's Soccer Heads to Rockies for Last Pac-12 Trip

Oct 18, 2022
Ellie Walbruch

No. 1 UCLA (13-1-0, 5-1-0) at Colorado (8-4-3, 2-3-1)
Date/Time: Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022 – 3pm MT/2pm PT
Location: Boulder, Colo. (Prentup Field)
Broadcast: Pac-12 Insider
Live Stats:

No. 1 UCLA (13-1-0, 5-1-0) at Utah (6-5-3, 2-3-1)
Date/Time: Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022 – 12pm MT/11am PT
Location: Boulder, Colo. (Prentup Field)
TV: Pac-12 Network
Talent: Krista Blunk
Live Stats:

No. 1-ranked UCLA (13-1-0, 5-1-0 in the Pac-12) will travel to Colorado (8-4-3, 2-3-1) and Utah (6-5-2, 2-3-1) this week for their last Pac-12 trip of the season. The Bruins will play at Colorado on Thursday, Oct. 20 at 3pm MT/2pm PT and at Utah on Sunday, Oct. 23 at 12pm MT/11am PT.

UCLA's 13-game winning streak to start the season came to an end after a 1-0 loss at No. 9 Stanford on Oct. 14. The Bruins' 13-0 start was the best start in school history, surpassing the 2001 squad's 11 victories to start the year. Strong starts have been commonplace for the Bruins in recent years, as they have won at least their first eight games in each of the last three seasons.

For the seventh consecutive week, UCLA ranks No. 1 in the United Soccer Coaches 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.

Freshman Ellie Walbruch returns to her home state of Utah this week when the Bruins play in Salt Lake City. Walbruch is from Highland, Utah and graduated early from American Fork HS to enroll at UCLA in January 2022. She won the U18/19 state championship in 2020 with La Roca and played with Real Colorado in 2021. So far this season, she has played in 11 games and scored her first collegiate goal against San Diego State on Sept. 15, the game-winner in a 2-0 UCLA victory.

Colorado had a 5-0-1 start to the season but are 2-3-1 in their last six contests, including a 2-0 road loss to Arizona in its last game. The 8-4-3 Buffs, though, boast an 8-1-0 record at home, with their only home loss coming to Arizona State, who scored the winning goal with three seconds left in the game. Forwards Civana Kuhlmann and Shyra James rank 1-2 in the Pac-12 in scoring with 26 and 23 points, respectively. James ranks first in goals scored with 11, one ahead of Kuhlmann, who has 10.

UCLA holds a 12-2-0 series advantage over Colorado and has won the last five matchups, including last season's 2-1 double overtime thriller in Los Angeles. Marley Canales scored the game-winner in the 107th minute on a goal that was made possible by Madelyn Desiano's backheel pass just before the ball crossed the endline. The Bruins have won the last three matchups held in Boulder. Colorado's last win overall came in 2016, 1-0 at home.

Utah enters the week with a 6-5-3 overall record and is coming off a 0-0 tie at Arizona State. The Utes' 6-2-1 home record includes a 1-1 tie on Sept. 4 against current No. 1 Alabama. Taliana Kaufusi is Utah's leading scorer with six goals and 12 points. The Utes are coached by second-year head coach Hideki Nakada, who coached at Stanford with UCLA head coach Margueritte Aozasa.

UCLA holds a 9-2-2 series advantage over Utah and is unbeaten in the last five matches. Last season, the two teams played to a 1-1 tie in Los Angeles, snapping UCLA's four-win streak in the series. The Bruins have won the last two games played in Salt Lake City, winning 2-0 in the 2020-21 season on the strength of two Reilyn Turner goals, and 5-1 in 2018. Utah's last win over UCLA came in 2016 at home, 2-0.

UCLA lost its first contest of the season on Oct. 14, falling at No. 9 Stanford, 1-0. The Bruins, who had won a school-record 13 games in a row to start the season, allowed a goal just before the half off a corner kick and could not get the equalizer in the second half despite outshooting the Cardinal 12-4 in the half and 17-8 overall. Stanford goalkeeper Ryan Campbell, along with her defense, made pivotal plays in the second half to keep a determined UCLA offense off the board.

Senior midfielder Sunshine Fontes has been shining bright for UCLA, leading the team and ranking third in the Pac-12 in goals scored with nine and fourth in total points with 21 points. She has recorded a goal or an assist in seven of UCLA's last nine games. Fontes earned 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.

Junior forward Reilyn Turner notched her second career hat trick on Oct. 2, totaling three goals in the first 20 minutes of a 5-0 victory at Oregon. She followed up that performance by scoring the game-winner against Arizona State on Oct. 6, less than two minutes into the game. Turner's first hat trick came on Sept. 5, 2021, also on the road and also in the first half of action, at Loyola Marymount in a 3-0 win. She becomes the fifth player in UCLA history to record multiple hat tricks, joining Traci Arkenberg (5), Sydney Leroux (3), Sarah-Gayle Swanson (2) and Danesha Adams (2). Turner joins Sunshine Fontes, who recorded a hat trick on Aug. 25 against CSUN, as the first pair of Bruins to record hat tricks in the same season since Adams and Lauren Cheney did it in 2007. Turner was selected to the National Team of the Week for both Top Drawer Soccer and College Soccer News.

Freshman Ally Lemos and graduate student Ally Cook have totaled two goals and four assists in the last four games and have combined for 15 points this season. Lemos, who is one of just two players to start every game for the Bruins, is tied for the team lead in assists with five and scored her first collegiate goal in the 4-0 win over Arizona State on Oct. 6. Cook, who has played in all 14 games and started 10, has scored three goals, including the game-winner against Cal on Sept. 23, and recorded two assists. She assisted on Sunshine Fontes' 83rd-minute game-winner against Arizona on Oct. 9.

Graduate student Lauren Brzykcy has been a nearly impenetrable brick wall this season, leading the Pac-12 in GAA (0.56) and wins (13). She 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 193 and counting. With 25 career shutouts, Brzykcy is one away from the Top 5, and her 50 career wins put her in fifth place all-time at UCLA. Brzykcy has been honored as the Pac-12 Goalkeeper of the Week three times this season, running her career total to eight, which ties former teammate Teagan Micah for most in school and conference history.

Three of Mexico's finests - full national team member Maricarmen Reyes and Under-20 national team members Bridgette Marin-Valencia and America Frias - are with the Bruins in 2022 and all saw action for the first time together on Sept. 11 vs. Cal State Fullerton. In that game, Reyes scored the game-winner, a sharp-angled screamer for her second goal of the season, and Marin-Valencia picked up her first collegiate assist in her first game. Frias also made her season debut in that game. Reyes and Marin-Valencia also teamed up to assist on the Bruins' second goal at Pepperdine on Sept. 18, and they combined for three goals (two from Reyes) in UCLA's 4-2 win over Cal on Sept. 23. Reyes ranks fifth on the team in scoring with nine points (4g, 1a), and Marin-Valencia has four points (1g, 2a) in nine games and earned her first collegiate start on Friday at Stanford. Frias has played in six games so far this season.

Midfielder MacKenzee Vance has finally seen her first collegiate action after tearing her ACL in January of 2020 and missing the last two seasons. In just her third game, Vance scored her first goal at Pepperdine, collecting a long pass from Madelyn Desiano, swerving past the charging goalkeeper and shooting into the empty net. She picked up her first career assist at Oregon State, making a strong move to lose her defender and then passing to Sunshine Fontes for the one-timer. Vance, who was a member of U.S. Youth National Teams from 2015-20, has played in eight games this season.

Sophomore midfielder Emma Egizii made her season debut Sept. 29 at Oregon, seeing her first game action since suffering a season-ending knee injury just 10 minutes into her collegiate career. Egizii, who came to UCLA as a U.S. Youth National Team regular, had a strong start to the 2021 campaign, scoring an impressive goal in the Bruins' exhibition win over Pepperdine, but in the very next game was injured after playing just 10 minutes. Egizii played 17 minutes against Oregon and had one shot. She increased her workload to 22 minutes against Oregon State.

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. Trevithick 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. She 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. She scored her third goal in three games last Thursday at Oregon and has now played in 16 career games and 541 minutes at UCLA with five goals and two assists. In her last game at Oregon State, Trevithick played 33 minutes, the most she has played since Dec. 6, 2019 in the College Cup semifinals.

Senior midfielder Jackie Gilday is another Bruin who has seen great success in a comeback season. After sitting out the last two seasons due to injury, she has come back in 2022 to play in all 14 games, with four starts. She played the full 90 in the Bruins' 1-0 win at Santa Clara and has 10 games with 45+ minutes played. Gilday is a member of the Nicaraguan National Team and scored two goals in World Cup qualifying this Spring.

Junior forward Reilyn Turner has stepped up on the biggest stages this season, with three of her seven goals coming against Top 10 teams on the road, and all three being game-winners. Her first goal came at No. 2 Duke on Sept. 1, a second-half goal to break a 1-1 tie. Three days later, she scored the game-winner in the 84th minute to beat No. 1 North Carolina. Turner made it 3-for-3 when she scored the opening goal in the Bruins' 4-0 win at No. 9 Pepperdine. Turner leads the Pac-12 with five game-winning goals and has 11 in her career, one off UCLA's Top 10.

UCLA has had 14 different players score a total of 40 goals this season, with seven scoring three or more goals. Sunshine Fontes leads the squad with nine goals, followed by Reilyn Turner, who has seven. Sofia Cook and Maricarmen Reyes have four apiece. A total of 31 players have seen game action, with 17 playing 10 or more games.

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 14 games - graduate goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy and freshman midfielder Ally Lemos. Three players (forward Reilyn Turner and defenders Jayden Perry and Lilly Reale) have 13 starts, defenders Madelyn Desiano and Quincy McMahon have 12 each, and Sunshine Fontes and Ally Cook each have 10.