UCLA women’s soccer advances to play North Carolina for title

Two relentless crimes. Two teams with only two losses apiece. Two coaches with national championship experience who coached a team in their first college cup. It takes two to tango, but after Friday night, UCLA is the one still dancing.

The top-seeded Bruins defeated No. 1 Alabama 3-0 in the College Cup semifinals, behind a relentless attack and a defense the Crimson Tide refused to let loose in the box. Full-back Quincy McMahon recorded a goal and an assist, while center forward Reilyn Turner had one goal with six shots (three on target). UCLA improved to an all-time 3-3-2 at WakeMed Soccer Park.

“They scored some absolute smashes — props to them,” said Alabama forward Riley Mattingly Parker. “They were dirty — literally 90+, like ‘What are you talking about?’ … You have to give credit to that.”

UCLA plays North Carolina for the national championship Monday at 3 p.m. PST. In the other semifinal, North Carolina defeated Florida State 3-2.

In 2000, UCLA and North Carolina met in the title game, with the Tar Heels winning 2-1.

The Bruins could have broken the game up early.

It took a daring tackle from Alabama to keep Turner from getting a one-on-one with tide keeper McKinley Crone in the sixth minute.

Crone narrowly deflected two shots from second striker Lexi Wright in the eighth minute. Sunshine Fontes laced a free kick just inches from goal in 13th.

Instead, UCLA went into halftime with a 1-0 lead thanks to Turner finishing a McMahon crosser. Service was as good as any the Bruins had all night, but Alabama switched when McMahon dribbled to the goal line, leaving Turner a wide-open net.

“Our team has many weapons,” said Bruins coach Margueritte Aozasa. “We did an activity once when we had our team do a scouting report of our own team and one of the things they struggled with was naming key players because we have so many threats. You saw that tonight.”

https://www.latimes.com/sports/ucla/story/2022-12-02/ucla-womens-soccer-alabama-ncaa-college-cup UCLA women’s soccer advances to play North Carolina for title

Emma Bowman

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