Aug. 26, 2008
LOS ANGELES - Freshman forward Sydney Leroux broke a 1-1 tie in the 82nd minute Tuesday, helping the third-ranked UCLA women's soccer team take a 2-1 season-opening victory over UC Santa Barbara at the North Athletic Field.
The Bruins' winning goal actually began off a corner kick that was played short to midfielder McCall Zerboni. After dribbling along the end line, Zerboni chipped a ball to the left side of the box where Leroux trapped it before unleashing a right-footed shot to the near post. Although UCSB goalkeeper Tammy Lenham was covering that side of the goal, Leroux placed the shot perfectly between Lenham and the left post.
Junior forward Kristina Larsen got things started for the Bruins in the 16th minute, scoring on a right-footed shot to the far post from just inside the box. Lauren Wilmoth was credited with the assist on that goal.
UCSB's lone strike on the day came at the 51:57 mark when Cory Yoshida took advantage of a rebound off a save from Bruin goalkeeper Ashley Thompson. Thompson made a great stop on UCSB's first shot, however the ball was cleared out towards the top of the box where Yoshida was waiting. She one-timed it back towards the goal, slipping it just past Thompson to even the match at 1-1.
Coming off a very busy summer as members of their respective Olympic teams, both Cheney and Lang sat out Tuesday's match. Defender Erin Hardy also did not play.
It marks the 15th year in a row that the Bruins have won their home opener.
Next up for UCLA is a meeting against No. 6 Portland on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. That match will be at Portland's Merlo Field, and can be seen live in the Pacific Northwest on Comcast SportsNet.