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Taylor Smith (photo by Don Liebig)
UCLA Downs Arizona in Desert, 2-1
By: UCLA Athletics
The fourth-ranked UCLA women's soccer team opened Pac-12 play with a 2-1 victory at Arizona on Sunday afternoon. Taylor Smith had a goal and an assist, and Sam Mewis scored the game-winner for the Bruins.

UCLA got off to another fast start, scoring at 4:45 on a goal by Smith, her second of the season. Smith took a pass from Ally Courtnall, made a cross-over move on an Arizona defender to find space and sent a low shot far post to beat Arizona Gabby Kaufman. The early goal marked the third-straight game in which UCLA has scored in the first 10 minutes.

The Bruins threatened to score again in the 21st minute when Mewis' left-footed shot hit the post. A follow-up shot a few seconds later by Rosie White went wide past a diving Kaufman.

UCLA would not be denied in the 32nd minute. Smith set up the play with some slick moves down the right side and slotted a perfectly-placed cross to Mewis in the box. Mewis one-timed Smith's cross for her third goal of the season.

Hannah Wong cut the Bruins' lead in half, getting one past an on-rushing Katelyn Rowland in the 38th minute after a nice feed from Jazmin Ponce, and UCLA took a 2-1 lead into halftime.

Kaufman came up big for Arizona in the second half. Right at the start of the period, White cracked a shot from the center circle that required a leaping save from the goalkeeper. Sarah Killion got a clean, hard look from outside the box in the 65th minute, but Kaufman made another leaping save to keep the Wildcats to within one. Kaufman also stopped a close shot from Mewis in the 71st minute.

The Wildcats had a good chance to tie in the 73rd minute when Jaden Degracie found herself all alone in the box, but her shot went straight to Rowland, who made the save. Arizona also had another chance late in the game but was called offsides.

UCLA played a strong possession game, outshooting Arizona 19-7 and holding a 12-1 advantage on corner kicks. Kaufman made seven saves for the Wildcats, while Rowland had two for the Bruins.

With the win, UCLA improves to 9-1, 1-0 in the Pac-12. Arizona falls to 5-2-3, 0-1 in conference play. The Bruins return home on Friday, Oct. 4 to host Washington State at 4pm in a game that will be televised live on Pac-12 Networks.

UCLA Goals at Arizona

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