UA soccer suffers 6-0 defeat to No. 1 UCLA

Playing against what is almost certainly the best team in the country, Arizona soccer (9-4-1, 3-3-0) was blasted 6-0 against No. 1 UCLA on Friday night in Los Angeles. On what was Senior Night for one of the best classes in UCLA women’s soccer history, the Bruins, making their last appearance in a home game, led the way for UCLA scoring four of the team’s six goals.

Despite the lopsided final score, the game actually looked competitive for a while.

UCLA was only up a goal at half after the Bruins’ Taylor Smith dribbled through the Wildcat defense and scored on a nice give and go with one of her teammates in the 37th minute. Arizona’s offense could not produce any quality looks and were held to only a single shot before heading into the locker room.

In the first half alone, UCLA outshot Arizona 10-1.

Trailing by only a single goal at halftime versus the No. 1 team in the country is a scenario most teams would take, but the second half was a whole different story for both teams.

In a play that may have changed the momentum for the entire game, UCLA was rewarded a penalty kick five minutes into the half after Wildcat sophomore defender Laura Pimienta was called for pushing a Bruin in the 18-yard box. UCLA’s Sarah Killion stepped up to the spot and converted the penalty, making it 2-0 Bruins in the 50th minute and giving Wildcat goalkeeper Gabby Kaufman no chance at the save.

For the next 10 minutes or so, the floodgates opened up on the Wildcats, starting with Caprice Dydasco, whose shot bounced off the left post and in at the 52nd minute mark. Killion got her second goal of the match in the 59th minute, firing another shot past Kaufman, and less than a minute later, it was the Bruins’ Darian Jenkins making it 5-0 UCLA when she spun away from the Wildcat defenders. To add insult to injury, UCLA added one final goal with under 30 seconds remaining in the game as Pac-12 Conference leading goal scorer Sam Mewis got wide open in the penalty area and easily finished from close.

For the game, UCLA outshot Arizona 23-8 and absolutely dominated possession, limiting the outmatched Wildcats offense from start to finish.

After losing to Washington last week, Arizona has now lost two consecutive matches for the first time all season, and things will not get much easier next weekend when No. 4 Stanford and Cal come to Tucson.

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