Nov. 18, 2011
LOS ANGELES - Despite controlling possession for most of the night and owning a 17-6 advantage in the final shot count, the second-seeded UCLA women's soccer was ousted from the NCAA Tournament on Friday evening, falling to San Diego, 1-1 (3-2 Pks) in front of 1,042 fans at Drake Stadium. Although the match officially goes into the record books as a tie, it is the Toreros who move on in the tournament and will take on Long Beach State on Sunday in the round of 16 at Drake Stadium at 2:00 p.m. The 49ers downed Miami, 1-0 in the earlier match on Friday.
"The bottom line is that you have to put the ball in the back of the net and not put it into a situation where it goes to penalty kicks where anything can happen," said UCLA head coach B.J. Snow. "San Diego did a good job of fighting. That early goal was a hard one to come back from. But at the end of the day what I told the girls was that I was really proud of how they fought back. It showed a lot of character to never give up and to keep fighting until the 110th minute."
UCLA (16-1-4) was forced to play a majority of Friday's match down a goal, as San Diego's Mariah Butera gave the Toreros an early 1-0 lead on a close-range shot just after play began. The official time of the goal was 1:46.
After nearly 80 minutes of scoreless soccer, UCLA was able to finally get the equalizer when sophomore Jenna Richmond tallied her fourth goal of the season at the 79:55 mark. Freshman Abby Dahlkemper got the ball near the endline and passed it back toward the top of the box to Richmond, who one-timed it off the far-left post and into the goal.
After neither team was able to score again in regulation, the match headed into overtime. The Bruins dominated the run of play in the extra session, continually attacking in San Diego's third of the field. One of the best chances on the night for UCLA came in the 98th minute when Dahlkemper got a head on a Chelsea Cline corner kick. Just as the ball appeared to be heading into the back of the net, San Diego goalkeeper Courtney Parsons reached out and made an outstanding diving save on the play to keep the Torero's hopes alive. Unfortunately for UCLA, it was the best chance that the Bruins would have in the two 10-minute overtime periods.
Once in penalty kicks, both Parsons and UCLA goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland started out strong, with each player making a pair of saves to start things out. The Bruins then went ahead 2-1 following successful conversions by both Samantha Mewis and Charney Burk. After San Diego's Stephanie Ochs tied things up at 2-2, the Bruins were unable to make their next two kicks, as Parsons saved shots by Caprice Dydasco and Chelsea Stewart. That set things up for San Diego's Elissa Magracia to close things out, scoring on the final kick of the evening to send her team into the round of 16.
"It's a roll of the dice," said Snow of the penalty kick shootout. "When you put it in the hands of the soccer gods like that, you never know which way it's going to go."
Game Notes: It's the second year in a row that UCLA has gone to penalty kicks in the NCAA Tournament, as the Bruins notched a 0-0 (4-3) decision over BYU in 2010 ... With the tie, the Bruins extend their home unbeaten streak in NCAA Tournament play to 31 matches (last loss to Texas A&M in 2002) ... UCLA's all-time record in NCAA Tournament competition is now 44-15-2 ... It marks the second time in school history that UCLA has ended a season with just one loss (2008 / 22-1-2) ... Friday's loss marks the Bruins' earliest exit from the NCAA Tournament since 1998.