UCLA Women’s Soccer Remains Unbeaten By Blanking SDSU, Pepperdine

Luaren Bryzkcy’s two clean sheets over the weekend helped the Bruins close nonconference play a perfect 8-0.

With Pac-12 play now officially on the horizon, the Bruins’ record is still unblemished.

No. 1 UCLA women’s soccer (8-0-0) closed out nonconference play with a pair of wins over the weekend, besting San Diego State (2-2-4) 2-0 at home on Thursday before surging to a 4-0 road win over Pepperdine (6-1-2) on Sunday. The Bruins have not lost a regular season contest since March 26, 2021, sporting a 28-0-4 record in that stretch.

Both of UCLA’s most recent wins came courtesy of clean sheets by graduate goalkeeper Lauren Bryzcky and the strong back line on defense. Bryzcky made six saves over the weekend – two against the Aztecs and four against the Waves – while the Bruin attack dominated both contests.

UCLA attempted 31 shots compared to San Diego State’s three on Thursday, although only 10 of them were put on target. The Bruins also had four corner kicks while the Aztecs had none, so even if the final score wasn’t particularly one-sided, the play on the pitch certainly was.

Freshman forward Ellie Walbruch subbed in for star junior Reilyn Turner in the 39th minute, with the match still locked in a scoreless tie. A mere two minutes later, senior forward Sunshine Fontes found Walbruch making a go at the net, and the underclassman received the pass before taking a touch across the top of the box.

Walbruch unleashed a strike off her left foot and squeezed it into the top left corner of the net, putting UCLA up 1-0 heading into halftime.

The Bruins scored again shortly after the break, when graduate defender Madelyn Desiano crossed one into the box from the right corner. Sophomore forward Lexi Wright got her head on it, but it was freshman midfielder Sofia Cook who came through with a second header that powered it in for the goal.

UCLA attempted 11 more shots in the final 37 minutes, but none found the back of the net. San Diego State finally got one on target in the 90th to try and break up the shutout, but Bryzkcy swallowed it up for the save.

Bryzkcy had to make twice as many saves to hold Pepperdine off the scoreboard three days later, but she had twice the cushion considering UCLA’s attack was able to finish more successfully Sunday afternoon.

Thirteen of the Bruins’ 20 shots wound up going on net, and they broke through with an early goal when Turner directed a leaping, contested header over the keeper in the 18th minute. The Waves were only getting outshot 7-6 in the first half, though, and they well within striking distance for the first two thirds of the game.

That’s when UCLA pulled away, with Wright scoring in the 61st to double the deficit. Fontes scored in the 79th to make it 3-0, and then junior midfielder MacKenzee Vance scored her first goal of the year in the 85th to lock up the win for good.

Pepperdine had only allowed three goals total in their first eight matches of the year, and they allowed that many in the last 30 minutes of Sunday’s top-10 showdown alone. The Waves, who were also entering the match undefeated, were averaging 2.9 goals per game until the Bruins shut them out entirely.

The victory over Pepperdine gave UCLA its third road win over a top-10 team in September, and it helped the Bruins close out nonconference play with a perfect record. UCLA has outscored its opponents 23-3 so far this season, and they are poised to hold onto the No. 1 ranking in the country as a result.

UCLA will open Pac-12 play at home against Cal on Friday, with that match set to kick off at 8 p.m. The conference opener will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.

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