Sept. 18, 2009
LOS ANGELES - The fourth-ranked UCLA women's soccer team turned in its most impressive offensive performance of the season Friday evening, finding the back of the net six times in a 6-1 victory over Utah in the second match of the UCLA Women's Cup at Drake Stadium. Loyola Marymount defeated Missouri, 1-0 in Friday's first match.
Senior Lauren Cheney got things started for the Bruins in the 17th minute of play, scoring on a set piece set up by a Utah foul. Lauren Barnes sent the ball into the box, finding the head of Dea Cook, who nearly scored had it not been for a great save by Utah goalkeeper Hannah Turpen. She couldn't hold onto the ball, however, and Cheney pounced on it for a close-range goal.
Senior Kara Lang would put the Bruins ahead 2-0 not too long after, as she tallied her second goal of the year at the 22:58 mark on a 32-yard shot into the top of the net. Unmarked in the middle of the field, Lang drove a ball that looked to be going well over the post, but dipped in just at the last second.
Just when it looked like UCLA had the potential of running away with the match, Utah made things interesting. After receiving a ball from Kelly Isleib in the box, Lauren Hair managed to slip past the Bruin defense, suddenly finding herself one-on-one with UCLA goalkeeper Chante' Sandiford. Hair tucked the ball into the corner from about six yards out to cut the score to 2-1.
Unfortunately for the Utes, Hair's goal was the last time they would find the back of the net all night, as the Bruins ran off four unanswered goals to close out the match.
UCLA's next two goals would come off of a pair of corner kicks, as defender Jenna Belcher sent in a pair of excellent crosses into the box. Barnes put the Bruins up 3-1 with a header in the 62nd minute. Cheney would duplicate that effort in the 69th minute, scoring her second goal of the night on a header at the 68:49 mark.
Sophomore Sydney Leroux gave the Bruins a 5-1 advantage in the 78th minute, scoring on a shot from the right side to the far post following assists from freshmen Zakiya Bywaters and Chelsea Cline. It marked Leroux's team-leading seventh goal of the season.
Freshman Ahsha Smith capped the scoring for the Bruins in the 87th minute, as she registered her first career goal as a Bruin with a low-liner from the top of the box to the left corner. Summer Williams and Liz Zadro assisted Smith on that goal.
UCLA outshot Utah, 15-7 on the evening. Sandiford played the full 90 minutes in goal for the Bruins, making two saves. It marks the fifth straight victory for the Bruins, who move to 5-1-1 on the year. UCLA has outscored the competition 17-2 in its last five games.
With the win, head coach Jillian Ellis picked up the 200th coaching victory of her UCLA career.
The UCLA Women's Cup resumes on Sunday, with UCLA facing Missouri at 11:00 a.m. That match will be followed by Loyola Marymount taking on Utah at 1:00 p.m.