UCLA Women’s Soccer Defeat University of San Diego at Home
Ninth-ranked UCLA women’s soccer top University of San Diego in a 3-1 victory at Drake Stadium in Los Angeles. The Bruins will travel to take on No. 21 Pepperdine on Friday before returning home to face Long Beach State on Sunday in their final final non-conference match of the preseason.
College Soccer News: Jessie Fleming and Darian Jenkins teamed up for two goals, and Anika Rodriguez scored her first career goal to lead ninth-ranked UCLA to a 3-1 victory over the University of San Diego on Sunday.
Fleming’s goal in the 41st minute gave the Bruins (4-2-0) the first score of the evening, and it was an impressive effort by Jenkins that made it happen. Jenkins fought off a challenge by a San Diego defender to send a perfect cross in front of goal to Fleming, who one-timed it into the back of the net for her fifth consecutive goal.
San Diego (3-3-1) equalized just three and a half minutes into the second half when Julia Sherwood headed a second-chance shot over Bruin goalkeeper Teagan Micah for her third goal of the year, but the Fleming-Jenkins connection struck again in the 58th minute. Fleming sent a pass to Jenkins at the top of the box, and the senior forward fired a shot into the upper corner for the go-ahead goal, her fourth this season.
The Toreros put the pressure on in an attempt to equalize. Bruin goalkeeper Micah made a great diving save on a shot by Jacqueline Altschuld in the 63rd minute that looked destined for net, and a steal in the 77th minute nearly led to a goal by the Toreros. But the Bruins got some breathing room in the 83rd minute thanks to redshirt freshman Rodriguez, who pounced on a deflection off a Torero defender and scored from the top of the box for her first career goal.
With UCLA coming off a tough Friday night match against North Carolina, UCLA head coach Amanda Cromwell utilized her bench frequently, with a total of 19 players seeing game action, and all playing double-digit minutes.
“It was important for us to get a lot of players minutes today, and we did that,” Cromwell said. “It’s not optimal, obviously, but I like that when we gave up a goal, we came back and showed a lot of fight and grit in scoring two more after that.”
Four Bruins made their first career starts – defenders Alyssa Alarab and Jacey Pederson, midfielder Chloe Castaneda, and forward Sunny Dunphy.
“One thing I said in the pregame talk to the reserves who were getting a chance to start was that we need your energy, we need your legs, we need your enthusiasm.Just go out there and do what you can to impact this game,” Cromwell shared. “Their work rate was good, and defensively we were sliding to block their services.”
Source/Photo Credit: UCLA Athletics