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Taylor Smith (photo by Patrick Gee)
No. 1 UCLA Downs No. 9 Texas A&M in Exhibition, 3-1
By: UCLA Athletics
The preseason No. 1 UCLA women's soccer team defeated No. 9 Texas A&M in an exhibition match at UCLA's North Athletic Field, 3-1, on Friday. The Bruins utilized 28 players in the contest, with all eight true freshmen seeing time on the pitch.

The Bruins and Aggies played three 30-minute periods, with both starting goalkeepers, freshman Siri Ervik for UCLA and senior Renee McDermott for Texas A&M, allowing zero goals in the first 30. UCLA's offense got going in the second period, however, as the Bruins executed off a set piece to score in the 48th minute. Sam Mewis received a Lauren Kaskie corner kick and chipped it to Megan Oyster, who fired it past McDermott for the first goal of 2014.

Seven minutes later, it was Kodi Lavrusky who doubled up the score. Taylor Smith set up the play with a nice pass to Darian Jenkins, who fed Lavrusky for the shot in front of the goal.

Texas A&M cut the lead in half at 69:04 when Allie Bailey sent a through ball into Shea Groom, who beat Arielle Schechtman from the center of the box, but the Bruins gained some breathing room at 83:53 when Mewis converted a penalty kick after Smith was taken down in the box.

Redshirt sophomore Cassie Sternbach earned the win for UCLA, going the second 30 minutes with one save. Ervik and Schechtman each recorded a save.

Making their UCLA debuts were true freshmen Ervik, Schechtman, Gabrielle Matulich, MacKenzie Cerda, Chloe Hemingway, Allie Dutto, Sam Kokoska and Reema Bzeih.

"I thought every 'keeper played well, and our back line, for the most part, played really well and snuffed out most of their attacking opportunities," said UCLA head coach Amanda Cromwell. "Like most teams, the things that need to come are the rhythm, the attacking third, reading the movement off the ball, so we have some work to do for sure."

UCLA officially opens its season on Friday, Aug. 22 vs. Maryland. The game will take place a Marshall Field at Drake Stadium and will be televised live on Pac-12 Networks at 7pm.

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