In its first four games, UCLA women’s soccer showcased offensive explosions. In the next six, the Bruins generated a multitude of opportunities but few goals, as players couldn’t capitalize in the circumstances.
No. 1 UCLA women’s soccer (10-0-1, 3-0 Pac-12) reignited its lost fire against Sunday against Oregon State (3-6-2, 0-3), recording its most goals in a game since Aug. 24 in a 4-1 thumping.
While the Bruins have been prone to slow starts across the past few weeks, they struck early against the Beavers.
Referees called Oregon State for a foul near the midfield line in the second minute, yielding a free kick to UCLA. Redshirt sophomore forward Anika Rodriguez then skied a cross that landed over a sea of players into the left side of the box.
Senior defender Gabrielle Matulich flicked a ground cross through the box to give junior forward Hailie Mace an easy tap in. It was Mace’s eight goal of the season, a team-high.
But the former defender wasn’t finished.
In the sixth minute, freshman forward Ashley Sanchez exhibited her ball-handling skills, navigating past a few defenders and tapping a through ball to Mace, who finished with a grounder that went past Beaver goalie Bella Geist.
Mace, who was named Pac-12 Player of the Week for the second time this year, facilitated the third goal in the 40th minute. She glided down the left side of the field into the box before dropping off a pass to Sanchez, who kicked a dribbler into the right side of the box to make it 3-0.
UCLA couldn’t shut out Oregon State, despite only surrendering five shots on the evening. The Beavers recorded a goal in the 76th minute, just their sixth goal of the season.
The Bruins capped off the game with one last goal in the 90th minute. Senior defender Claire Winter curled a cross over eight players in the box to Matulich. Then Matulich gathered the ball and rocketed a goal into the top of the cage.
With the offensive clinic, UCLA is now outscoring opponents 31-8 this season. And the Bruins have an opportunity to continue their dominance when they travel to Arizona State (4-5–2, 1-1-1) on Thursday.
The Sun Devils have struggled the past two seasons, owning a losing record across that span. Arizona State challenged Cal earlier this year in a 1-1 tie, but was drubbed by Stanford last Sunday.
A slew of players have scored for the Sun Devils, although the most goals tallied by one player is three. If they have anyone to keep an eye on, it’s junior defender/foward Jemma Purfield, who has garnered the most goals on the club, along with three assists.
This is your UCLA women’s soccer vs. Arizona State game thread.