Nov. 11, 2010
LOS ANGELES - The UCLA women's soccer team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in dramatic fashion on Thursday evening, as the Bruins overcame BYU, 4-3 on penalty kicks in first round action at Drake Stadium. With the win, UCLA (12-7-2) moves on to fourth-seeded UCF on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. The Knights edged Fresno State, 2-1 on Friday.
With neither team able to find the back of the net during regulation and two overtime periods, Thursday's match came down to penalty kicks. UCLA actually jumped out to an early 3-1 advantage following successful conversions by Lauren Barnes, Chelsea Cline and Dana Wall. After making its first kick, BYU missed its next two opportunities, as goalkeeper McKinzie Olson hit a shot off the crossbar and Nicole Gilliam had her shot saved by UCLA goalkeeper Chante' Sandiford. However, subsequent misses by UCLA's Zakiya Bywaters and Natalia Ledezma kept the Cougars in the match and suddenly the kicks were knotted at 3-3. BYU's next shot, taken by Jessica Ringwood, was stopped on a spectacular diving save by Sandiford, giving the Bruins another chance at the win. Senior captain Elise Britt stepped up and converted it, clearing the Bruin bench in celebration.
"This is the character that I've been waiting to see in this team," said head coach Jillian Ellis. "I was blown away by the way we competed. It's just constantly believing that it can go your way and that's honestly what it comes down to. BYU is an excellent team and a really hard first round opponent. We're just happy to be moving on."
Despite the scoreless match, both teams had several quality scoring chances both in regulation and in overtime. The Bruins' best chance of the night came with less than a minute to go before halftime when Sydney Leroux hit a shot off the right post and out of play. Just prior to that, Zakiya Bywaters sailed a shot inches from the post in the 39th minute. Leroux also nearly put the game away with less than two minutes to play in the second overtime when her attempted shot over Olson was just tipped over the crossbar.
BYU's two best chances came on strikes by Jennie Marshall in the 87th and 105th minutes. Both times, however, defender Barnes stepped in to make goal-line saves to keep the game scoreless.
It marks the first time that UCLA has ever won a match on penalty kicks, as the Bruins lost to Texas A&M at home in 2002 and to Notre Dame in the NCAA Championship match in 2004.