Aug. 26, 2012
LOS ANGELES - In a battle of top 25 opponents at Drake Stadium on Sunday afternoon, the fifth-ranked UCLA women's soccer team picked up a win in its 2012 home opener, scoring two second-half goals to register a 2-0 victory over No. 22 Illinois. With the result, the Bruins improve to 3-0 on the season while Illinois sees its record fall to 2-1-1.
Although the Bruins didn't find the back of the net in the first half, they didn't waste any time getting on the board in the second 45 minutes of play on Sunday, moving out to a 1-0 advantage less than three minutes after intermission on Zakiya Bywaters' first goal of the year. Defender Abby Dahlkemper lofted a ball over the Illinois defense to a charging Bywaters, who dribbled past Fighting Illini goalkeeper Steph Panozzo before scoring from close range.
Like Bywaters, sophomore Ally Courtnall also picked up her first goal of the season on Sunday, adding an insurance goal for the Bruins in the 61st minute. The play started when senior Chelsea Cline got free in the middle of the field and sent a perfect through ball to Courtnall, who dribbled just inside the 18-yard box before finishing with a right-footed shot to the left corner.
UCLA, which is still without three players who are competing at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Japan, outshot Illinois, 15-8 on the afternoon. Sophomore Katelyn Rowland played the entire match in goal for the Bruins, making three saves.
The Bruins will have the next four days off from competition before taking on another Big Ten opponent on Friday, as No. 20 Wisconsin visits Drake Stadium for a 7:00 p.m. showdown.