Aug. 22, 2009
Chapel Hill, N.C. - The third-ranked UCLA women's soccer team dropped its 2009 season opener on Saturday evening, as top-ranked North Carolina posted a 7-2 victory over the Bruins before 3,372 fans at Carolina's Fetzer Field. Both UCLA goals on the evening were scored by sophomore Sydney Leroux.
"We dug ourselves a big hole early and unfortunately never rebounded," said UCLA head coach Jillian Ellis. "It's a disappointing result, but there are plenty of things to take away from this game. Carolina was special tonight."
Carolina jumped on the Bruins right from the start. In the first minute of the game, the Tar Heels earned a throw-in deep in the UCLA defensive half. Junior forward Jessica McDonald's throw went into the box where both teams had players scrapping for possession. The ball squired out to an unmarked Tobin Heath near of the top of the penalty area and Heath one-timed it into the lower left corner of the frame. The goal at the 41-second mark put the Tar Heels up 1-0.
Just over three minutes later, Carolina increased its lead to 2-0. Casey Nogueira struck a ball from outside the box on the left side that caromed off a Bruin defender. The ball went all the way across the box to the right side where Courtney Jones was able to gather it in and toe poke it ahead to Ali Hawkins. Hawkins found herself one-on-one with UCLA goalkeeper Yiana Dimmitt and Hawkins finished off the scoring chance to make it 2-0 at 3:44 of the match.
The Tar Heels struck again just over nine minutes later on a nifty passing combination that resulted in Casey Nogueira's first goal of the season at the 12:55 mark. Courtney Jones fed Jessica McDonald and McDonald found Nogueira in the left side of the penalty area. Nogueira struck a line drive that curved into the bottom right corner of the goal for a three-goal margin. Neither team scored in the final 33 minutes of the half as the Tar Heels maintained their three-goal advantage going into intermission.
At 49:59, the Bruins came within a fingertip of cutting their deficit to two goals as Sydney Leroux's blast from the right side of the box was saved over the end line for a corner kick by UNC senior Ashlyn Harris, who made an acrobatic save on the shot.
It was about 10 minutes later that the Tar Heels scored back-to-back goals just 1:22 apart. At 59:45, Nogueira notched her second goal of the night, taking a pass from Brittani Bartok and sending a low shot just inside the right post to make it 4-0. Just over a minute later, at the 61:07 mark, Carolina went up 5-0 as Courtney Jones took a feed from Tobin Heath inside the box and finished inside the left post for Jones' first goal of the season.
UCLA got on the scoreboard at the 75:10 mark in the match. Leroux, who earlier had been denied by Harris, earned her first goal of the year off an assist by Zakiya Bywaters. Harris came out on a ball in the penalty area but was unable to corral it. Bywaters chased it down in the right side of the box but her shot hit the right post. Leroux was right there to pounce on the rebound and finish into an empty net. Harris was shaken up on the play and left the game as freshman goalie Hannah Daly came on to play the final 14:50 of the match for UNC.
Things got even a little more crazy as the two teams combined to put three goals on the board in less than two minutes as the game headed into its final stages. At 86:14, junior forward Katie Klimczak scored her third second career goal.
Emmalie Pfankuch sent a corner kick from the right side into the center of the box where freshman midfielder Amber Brooks executed a brilliant flick on to Klimczak who finished from about three yards out on the left side.
The Bruins answered back exactly 25 seconds later as Leroux scored her second goal of the night. She took a pass from Kristina Larsen, dribbled into the box and finished from about 12 yards out on the right side to the far post.
The ninth and final goal of the night came from Emmalie Pfankuch, the third of her career, as she scored off an assist by Ali Hawkins. Pfankuch found herself with space on the right side of the box and she sent a shot from about 12 yards away with eluded Dimmitt and found the left side netting.
UNC finished with a 24-11 advantage in shots on the night and an 8-6 edge in corner kicks.
Next up for UCLA is a match at San Diego on Aug. 28.