Aug. 31, 2012
Los Angeles, Calif. - Rosie White had a memorable season debut, and Zakiya Bywaters made Wisconsin pay for a gamble in the final seconds of the game as top-ranked UCLA defeated 11th-ranked Wisconsin on Friday evening at Drake Stadium, 2-0.
In her first game back with the Bruins after playing with the New Zealand Olympic and Under-20 World Cup teams, White scored the game-winning goal in the 78th minute on a shot to the far post. Taylor Smith sent White the cross after taking a pass from Caprice Dydasco.
The Bruins held the lead in the final 12 minutes of the contest but not without some drama in the 90th minute. With UCLA hanging on to the one-goal lead, Wisconsin gained possession around midfield with less than a minute to play and pulled goalkeeper Lauren Gunderson up to play in the field in an attempt to equalize. Gunderson had a look in the final seconds but was unable to connect. Bywaters took the ball, ran it 70 yards up the field and scored the empty net goal, her second goal of the year.
After a defensive struggle in the first half that saw the two teams combine for just six shots (UCLA with five), the Bruins came out attacking in the second half. Bywaters missed high on a shot after a steal just outside the box in the 50th minute. Chelsea Cline had a shot in 54th minute that forced a diving save by Gunderson, and Ally Courtnall had a shot sail high a minute later.
Wisconsin's Paige Adams nearly scored the first goal in the 62nd minute but just missed wide left after a cross found her right in front of the goal. The Badgers had a few opportunities in the 68th minute, earning a pair of corner kicks but were denied both times by the Bruins.
Bywaters had two good scoring opportunities midway through the second half. In the 70th minute, she missed wide on a shot while being defended heavily by a pair of Badger defenders, and she also had a shot saved by Gunderson in the 73rd minute.
UCLA's defense came up big in the 73rd minute, when Joana Bielefeld had a shot off a corner kick get stopped just short of the goal by the Bruin defense. Gunderson held strong for Wisconsin two minutes later, making a save on a shot by White.
Courtnall nearly made it 2-0 in the 79th minute, but Gunderson got a hand on a shot headed for the right corner at the last minute.
The Bruins outshot the Badgers, 16-6, in the contest. UCLA goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland earned her third consecutive shutout, making one save. Gunderson had five saves for Wisconsin, including two on White, who had three of her four shots on goal.
"Today was extraordinary for her," UCLA head coach B.J. Snow said of the sophomore forward. "This was her best game so far as a Bruin. Coming off this summer when she was able to play in the Olympics and play in the U-20 World Cup, she's exuding confidence at this point in time, so we're certainly glad to have her back."
UCLA improves to 4-0 on the year while handing Wisconsin (3-1) its first loss. Next up for UCLA is a matchup with Loyola Marymount on Friday, Sept. 7 at 7:00 pm at Drake Stadium.