Oct. 10, 2008
LOS ANGELES - Junior forward Kristina Larsen played a part in both Bruin goals on Friday evening, helping the third-ranked UCLA women's soccer team to a dramatic 2-1 come-from-behind victory over No. 25 Washington State at Drake Stadium. The Bruins, who were less than a minute away from seeing the nation's longest home winning streak come to an end, remain undefeated on the season at 10-0-2 (1-0 Pac-10). The Cougars fall to 6-3-3 and 0-1 in conference play.
UCLA's late-game heroics came in the 90th minute with Washington State up 1-0 and on the verge of its biggest victory of the year. Larsen managed to get free on the right side of the field, beating several Washington State defenders before unleashing a cross into the box. That cross found the head of junior Lauren Cheney, who knocked it in between two Cougar defenders from about five yards out.
The match eventually went into overtime and after both teams failed to score in the first 10-minute period, Larsen would score the game winner in the 102nd minute. A loose ball in the Washington State box resulted in a defender attempting to clear the ball. As she went to hit it, however, Larsen jumped right in front of her with her back to the goal and the ball bounced off her and into the corner of the goal. The play happened so quickly that Washington State goalkeeper Lindsay Parlee could only watch as the ball dribbled into the left corner. It marked Larsen's fifth goal of the season.
Not to be overshadowed by Cheney and Larsen, Bruin goalkeeper Ashley Thompson had some late-game heroics of her own, as she made a diving save on a close-range shot by Cougar Ali Fenter in the 93rd minute to keep the Bruins alive. It marked Thompson's only save of the match.
Despite the loss, Washington State did manage to snap the Bruins' 10-match shutout streak, as Elysse Van Leer tallied her team's only goal at the 4:47 mark. Parlee punted a long ball up the field directly to Van Leer, who maneuvered through the Bruin defense on the right side before scoring to the far post. It marked only the second goal given up by UCLA this season, as the Bruins have outscored the competition 28-2.
The Bruins dominated much of the play Friday evening, continually pushing into Washington State's half of the field to create scoring chances. In fact, the Cougars were held to just two shots in the second half and overtime periods combined. The Bruins led the final shot count 26-5.
The Bruins' home winning streak moves to 43 in a row. It is the second-longest in NCAA history behind North Carolina's 84-match streak in the late 1980's and early `90s.
UCLA returns to action this Sunday, hosting Washington at 1:00 p.m. It is Breast Cancer Awareness Day at Drake Stadium, as the Bruins will be in all pink uniforms. Fans who buy a $10 pink t-shirt at the entrance to the stadium will get in for free. All proceeds will go to the Revlon/UCLA Breast Center.