Nov. 4, 2011
LOS ANGELES - A school record 3,826 fans were rewarded for braving the cold and rainy conditions at Drake Stadium on Friday evening, as the second-ranked UCLA women's soccer team closed out the regular season with a 5-2 victory over cross-town rival USC.
Senior forward Sydney Leroux, who was recognized prior to the match along with four other Bruin seniors who were appearing in their final regular-season match at Drake Stadium on Friday, made her Senior Night one to remember, scoring her team-leading 15th and 16th goals of the season. She got things started for UCLA (15-1-3; 8-1-2 Pac-12) in the 20th minute when she took a pass from Caprice Dydasco on the left side of the field, eventually scoring on a nine-yard shot to the far post.
Leroux's second goal of the evening came in the 53rd minute, as Zakiya Bywaters fed her a ball near the top of the box and Leroux ran onto it, scoring yet again on a shot to the far post. Leroux, who leads the team in scoring with 35 points (16g, 3a), has now scored nine goals in the team's last five matches. She also added a pair of assists tonight, finishing the match with six points.
Bruin freshman Samantha Mewis showed little nerves in her first-ever contest against USC, scoring on two long-range shots from beyond the top of the box. Her first goal came in the 29th minute when Bywaters laid off a perfect ball that rolled across the top of the box. Mewis, who was following the play, ran onto it and first-timed a ball into the top of the goal. She would score again in the 57th minute, this time on a ball played to the top of the box by Leroux.
In addition to Leroux and Mewis, freshman Ally Courtnall got in on the scoring, as her goal in the 33rd minute gave the team a 3-0 lead.
USC (7-13; 4-7 Pac-12) managed to score once in each half on Friday, as Samantha Johnson (47th minute) and Kristina Noriega (82nd minute) were able to help the Trojans avoid the shutout. Johnson's goal came when she cleaned up a Carly Butcher shot that hit off the post, and Noriega got on the end of a Brittany Kerridge corner kick, eventually scoring from about 12 yards out.
Freshman Katelyn Rowland played the entire match in goal for the Bruins, making four saves. UCLA outshot USC, 26-9 on the evening, including 16-2 in the first half. With the win, the Bruins improve to 20-4-1 all-time against USC. In addition to Leroux, seniors Charney Burk, Amelia Mathis, Summer Williams and Chante' Sandiford were all honored prior to Friday's match. UCLA's five goals on Friday mark the most against USC since a 6-0 UCLA win in 1993.
UCLA now awaits the announcement of the 64-team NCAA Tournament draw, which will be revealed on NCAA.com on Monday at 1:30 p.m. (PST).