UCLA Hosts UCI in NCAA First Round Friday - UCLA (2024)

No. 1 Seed UCLA (16-1-1) vs. UC Irvine (8-7-6)
Date: Friday, Nov. 10, 2023 – 6 p.m. PT
Location: Los Angeles, Calif. (Wallis Annenberg Stadium)
Talent: Nick Koop
Live Stats: uclalivestats.com

No. 1 seed and defending NCAA champion UCLA (16-1-1) will begin postseason play on Friday, Nov. 10 at 6pm PT with a first round game against Big West champion UC Irvine (8-7-6). The match will be broadcast on ESPN+. The winner of the UCLA-UCI match will advance to the second round to face the winner of No. 8 seed Gonzaga (13-3-2) vs. Idaho (12-4-2). In the other half of the quadrant are No. 4 seed Xavier (14-3-4), No. 5 seed Nebraska (14-3-3), Tennessee (8-6-4) and South Dakota State (13-3-3).

The Bruins, who are making their 27th overall and eighth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament, have a 74-20-7 all-time NCAA Tournament record. and have advanced to the Round of 16 or beyond in nine of the last 10 seasons, winning the 2022 and 2013 NCAA titles and making four College Cup appearances (2022, 2019, 2017 and 2013). UCLA is a No. 1 seed for the seventh time in program history and for the second consecutive year.

UCLA posted a 6-1-1 record against members of the 64-team NCAA Tournament field this season. The Bruins have wins over No. 4 seed Georgia (2-0), No. 8 seed USC (4-2), UC Irvine (4-0), Pepperdine (2-0), Colorado (3-1), and Arizona State (1-0). UCLA's only non-victories of the year came against No. 1 seed BYU (L, 3-1) and No. 2 seed Stanford (T, 1-1).

The Bruins return 24 players from last season's NCAA Championship team, including eight starters from the championship game. Among those returning starters are College Cup Most Outstanding Offensive Player Reilyn Turner, College Cup Most Outstanding Defensive Player Lilly Reale and College Cup All-Tournament selections Ally Lemos and Lexi Wright. Reilyn Turner is UCLA's top returning scorer in NCAA Tournament play, having scored nine points on four goals and one assist. Lexi Wright is right behind with three goals and seven points.

UCLA clinched its 14th Pac-12 title on Oct. 29 with a 1-1 tie against Stanford. Seniors Jen Alvarado, Janae DeFazio, Megan Edelman, Sunshine Fontes, Jordyn Gather, Kelly McManus, Michaela Rosenbaum, My Haugland Sørsdahl, Reilyn Turner and MacKenzee Vance have been part of three Pac-12 championship squads, as UCLA has won three of the last four titles.

Second-year head coach Margueritte Aozasa earned her second Pac-12 Coach of the Year honor after guiding second-ranked UCLA to the conference title with an unbeaten 10-0-1 Pac-12 record. Aozasa's Bruins, who are currently on a 14-game unbeaten streak, compiled a 16-1-1 regular season record, with the third-best W-L-T percentage in the nation (0.917). UCLA ranks first in the Pac-12 in goals scored (52), shutouts (11), shots (374) and shots on goal (157). This is the seventh Pac-12 Coach of the Year honor bestowed upon a UCLA coach. Aozasa joins Stanford's Paul Ratcliffe as just the second Pac-12 coach to win Coach of the Year honors in back-to-back years.

Junior Lilly Reale became the first player ever to win Pac-12 Defender of the Year honors in consecutive years. She is also just the second player ever to win two career Defender of the Year awards, joining Stanford's Naomi Girma, who won in 2019 and 2021. The Hingham, Mass. native has started and played in 16 games, leading the Bruins to a conference-best 11 shutouts and a 0.61 goals against average. Under her leadership in the back, UCLA has allowed an average of just 5.2 shots per game. Reale, the 2022 Honda Award winner, has earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors in each of her three years.

Senior Reilyn Turner made history by becoming UCLA's first-ever Pac-12 Forward of the Year in the seven-year history of the award. The Aliso Viejo, Calif. native also earned her fourth career all-conference nod, having been named to the first team for the second-straight year. She was a second-team selection as a sophom*ore and a third-team honoree as a freshman, in addition to the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year. This season, Turner leads the Bruins and ranks second in the Pac-12 in goals scored (10) and points (26). With 42 career goals and 15 assists, Turner is just one point away from becoming the sixth UCLA player to reach 100 career points. .

A Pac-12 record-tying 10 Bruin players earned All-Pac-12 honors in 2023, including five first-team players in Ally Cook, Ally Lemos, Quincy McMahon, Lilly Reale and Reilyn Turner. Sofia Cook, Ayo Oke and Jayden Perry received second-team acclaim, and Sunshine Fontes and Lexi Wright were selected to the third team. Additionally, Val Vargas earned All-Freshman honors. UCLA's 10 all-conference honorees matches the Pac-12 record set by Stanford in 2018.

In its last-ever Pac-12 Conference game, No. 2 UCLA defeated crosstown rival No. 22 USC, 4-2, in front of a sold-out crowd of 2,406 at Wallis Annenberg Stadium. The victory ensured an unbeaten conference record for the Pac-12 champion Bruins. UCLA took the early advantage with goals from forwards Lexi Wright and Ally Cook less than two minutes apart in the 18th and 20th minutes. USC trimmed UCLA's lead with a set-piece goal in the 29th minute, but a USC own goal less than three minutes later gave UCLA a 3-1 advantage going into halftime. The Bruins tacked on a fourth goal on a Bridgette Marin-Valencia penalty kick to increase their lead to 4-1 in the 81st minute and held on to win, 4-2.

UCLA ends the regular season ranked No. 2 in both the United Soccer Coaches poll and the Top Drawer Soccer poll. The Bruins have been ranked in the Top 5 of the United Soccer Coaches poll for 24 consecutive polls and in the Top 10 in 46 straight polls.

UC Irvine is making its third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. The Anteaters shut out all three opponents as the No. 5 seed in the Big West Tournament, including a 1-0 win in the final against Cal Poly. Mirayah Villalpando scored the only goal in the 40th minute. Goalkeeper Glo Hinojosa has allowed just two goals in the Anteaters' last eight games and has six shutouts during that time. Alyssa Moore leads UC Irvine in scoring with six goals and 17 points. Tati Fung is the team's assist leader with eight assists.

UCLA is 10-2-1 all-time against UC Irvine. The two teams played each other on Aug. 27 in Irvine, a game the Bruins won handily, 4-0. Reilyn Turner contributed a goal and two assists, and Ally Cook had one goal and one assist. Lexi Wright and Val Vargas also scored goals for the Bruins, who outshot the Anteaters, 23-4. The last game at UCLA played between the two teams was the biggest in the series, a 1-0 UC Irvine win in the first round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament. Alyssa Moore scored the game's only goal in the 14th minute, and goalkeeper Glo Hinojosa made seven saves on 19 UCLA shots to secure the upset win over the unbeaten Bruins. Many of the players in that game for both teams are still here. For UCLA, starters Lilly Reale, Quincy McMahon and Reilyn Turner return, along with reserves Michaela Rosenbaum, Jayden Perry, Sunshine Fontes and Lexi Wright. For UC Irvine, seven starters return from that match (Desiree Mendoza, Kiera Smeenge, Lilli Rask, Alyssa Moore, Gianna Creighton, Chloe Ragon, and Glo Hinojosa), along with two reserves (Laila El Behery and Suus de Bakker).

UCLA enters Friday's game on a 23-game home unbeaten streak. The Bruins' last home loss came on Nov. 12, 2021 against UC Irvine, meaning Margueritte Aozasa has never lost a home game as Bruin head coach. During the streak, UCLA is 21-0-2 with 15 shutouts, including six in the last eight games. This season, the Bruins have outscored their opponents at Wallis Annenberg Stadium, 31-4. They have also outshot opponents at home by a 215-44 count.

UCLA dominated the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week award this season, winning six times in the final eight weeks. Quincy McMahon won a record four times this year, including an unprecedented three times in a row Sept. 18, Sept. 25 and Oct. 2. Three different Bruins won the award - McMahon, Ayo Oke and the repeat winner of the Defender of the Year, Lilly Reale. UCLA's defense has recorded 11 shutouts, held opponents to single digit shots in 16 of 18 games and is allowing an average of just 5.2 shots per game with 11 shutouts. The Bruins hold a team goals against average of 0.61.

UCLA's strength lies in its depth. The Bruins have 16 players who have scored goals this season, led by Reilyn Turner's 10 goals and Ally Cook's nine goals. No game displayed UCLA's depth more than the Oregon State contest on Oct. 5 when six different Bruin players scored a goal and all 22 players on the active roster reached double-digits in minutes played.

A total of seven players have started every game for the Bruins this season, compared to just two a year ago. The 18-game starters for the Bruins are goalkeeper Neeku Purcell; defenders Jayden Perry, Quincy McMahon and Ayo Oke; midfielder Ally Lemos; and forwards Reilyn Turner and Ally Cook. Lilly Reale has 16 starts, Lexi Wright 15 and Emma Egizii 12. Sofia Cook and Sunshine Fontes each have nine starts.

UCLA has taken a program record and nation-leading 11 penalty kicks this season and hit its first nine before missing on its 10th on Oct. 22. Jayden Perry leads the team with three penalty kick goals, followed by Reilyn Turner and Sunshine Fontes, who each have two. Emma Egizii, America Frias and Bridgette Marin-Valencia have made one each.

In games through Nov. 5, UCLA ranks in the Top 10 in the nation in shots per game (2nd - 20.78), W-L-T percentage (3rd - 0.917), goal differential (5th - 41), scoring offense (6th - 2.89), total goals (9th - 52) and points per game (10th - 7.83).

Senior forward Reilyn Turner is just one point away from reaching 100 career points. Only five other players in UCLA history have accomplished this feat - Lauren Cheney (173), Traci Arkenberg (169), Danesha Adams (140), Sydney Leroux (126) and Iris Mora (104). Turner has moved into fifth place on UCLA's career goals list with 42 and into a tie for fifth place in career game-winning goals with 16. She also ranks third at UCLA with three career hat tricks, behind only Arkenberg and Leroux, and is fifth with seven career multi-goal games. This season, Turner leads the team in scoring with 10 goals and 26 points and is ranked second in assists with six. The Pac-12 Forward of the Year was deadly in conference games, leading all Pac-12 players with seven goals and 17 points in conference play. The senior from Aliso Viejo, Calif. has secured a fourth consecutive 20-point season.

It would be hard to find a more iconic duo late in a game than Ally Lemos and Reilyn Turner. With time running out in a scoreless contest Oct. 22 at Arizona State, Lemos sent a corner kick into the box, and Turner headed it home for the game-winner in the 89th minute. It was far from the first time they had connected on a corner; Lemos' last three assists have been corner kicks that Turner has headed into goal, most famously in the NCAA Championship with 16 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime. Seven of Lemos' 11 career assists have come on corner kicks, including her last four.

With nine goals in 2023, graduate forward and first-team All-Pac-12 honoree Ally Cook has set a new single-season best total for goals scored. Cook, who came to UCLA from Oregon in 2022 as a graduate transfer in the UCLA School of Education and Information Studies, has totaled 14 goals as a Bruin, adding to her total of 17 as a Duck. Her 31 career goals rank her second on the current UCLA squad behind only Reilyn Turner (42). Cook ranks second on the team and fourth in the conference with nine goals. She is also second on the team and eighth in the Pac-12 with 19 points. Her six goals in conference play rank third overall in the Pac-12.

Junior forward and third-team All-Pac-12 honoree Lexi Wright has put together another strong season, ranking third on the team in goals (six) and points (15). In Pac-12 play, she ranked fourth in the conference with 13 points, fifth with five goals and 10th with three assists. Last season, she ranked third on the team in all scoring categories, totaling 22 points on eight goals and six assists, and she was named to the College Cup All-Tournament team after leading the Bruin comeback in the NCAA Championship game.

UCLA added two transfers this season in defenders Ayo Oke (University of California) and Emily Pringle (University of Pennsylvania), both of whom have made a strong impact on the squad. Oke, a junior defender from Lawrenceville, Ga., has started all 18 games for the Bruin at right back and earned a spot on the All-Pac-12 second team. Against her former school California, she scored the game-winning goal and assisted on a second goal in the Bruins' 2-0 win. She came back three days later and assisted on another goal in a 1-1 tie with Stanford that clinched the Pac-12 title for the Bruins. Pringle, a graduate defender from La Jolla, Calif., has appeared in 14 games and played in a season-high 70 minutes in the Bruins' 4-2 win over USC. Pringle is averaging 26.5 minutes per game.

UCLA Hosts UCI in NCAA First Round Friday - UCLA (2024)


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