No. 1 Seed UCLA Downs NAU 4-1 in NCAA First Round
LOS ANGELES – Two early goals by sophomore forward Lexi Wright propelled No. 1 seed UCLA to a 4-1 win over Northern Arizona in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Wallis Annenberg Stadium.
Wright wasted absolutely no time in giving UCLA the lead, scoring her sixth goal of the season just 39 seconds into the game. The goal was the fastest by a Bruin this season and UCLA's fourth this season in the first two minutes of play. Wright wasn't done, though, as she added a second goal at 8:14 to double the lead. Maricarmen Reyes was credited with the assist.
"It was a great weight off our shoulders after not scoring last weekend," said UCLA head coach Margueritte Aozasa on the first-minute goal. "And in the very back of the players' mind was last year [UCLA's first-round exit]. To get out on such a strong front foot just set the tone for the rest of the game."
Sophomore Emma Egizii made it 3-0 UCLA at 39:19, scoring her first collegiate goal, off an Ally Lemos assist. Egizii, who suffered a torn ACL in the 2021 season opener, was playing in just her 11th game.
"She's just been on such a positive road throughout the season, and it was awesome to see her minutes continue to increase and to have her score such a great goal," said Aozasa. "You could just see the joy on her face and the joy everybody felt when she did that."
After totaling 18 shots in the first half, the Bruins rolled into the second half with a comfortable 3-0 lead and continued to fire away at the Lumberjacks. Senior Sunshine Fontes increased the Bruins' lead to 4-0 on an unassisted shot at 84:02. The goal was her team-leading 10th of the season.
Northern Arizona (7-7-6) got on the board two minutes later after Randalyn Hunter pounced on a blocked shot and got one past UCLA freshman goalkeeper Neeku Purcell, who had relieved starter Lauren Brzykcy 16 minutes prior. The goal was the first given up by Purcell, whose scoreless streak came to an end after 192 minutes.
The Bruins (18-2-0) outshot the Lumberjacks by a 27-5 clip and had 18 shots on goal. Northern Arizona's goalkeepers Trinity Corcoran and Natalie Manzo recorded nine and four saves, respectively.
UCLA will next face the winner of Sunday's NC State vs. UCF match. The NCAA second round game will take place on Friday, Nov. 18 at 7pm at Wallis Annenberg Stadium.