San Diego State Falls To UCLA In NCAA Women's Soccer Championship Opening Round
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (GoAztecs.com) – San Diego State dropped a 3-0 decision to second-seeded UCLA in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Championship Friday night at Drake Stadium. The loss ends the Aztecs’ season, snaps their seven-game winning streak and puts their final record at 13-7-2. The Bruins advance and improve to 18-1-2.
UCLA struck first not even a minute into the game when the ball skipped through the box to an open Sam Mewis, who was in the center of the box. SDSU goalkeeper Melanie Vaughn came out to meet the ball, but the midfielder converted from 12 yards out as the game turned 43 seconds old.
The Bruins kept the offensive pressure on the Aztecs and the visitors did a solid job of not allowing the home side from padding its lead. In the 30th minute, however, the ball skipped through the box again to a waiting Taylor Smith and the forward put her attempt away from the right side.
San Diego State nearly cut its deficit in half as a turnover in the Scarlet and Black’s attacking third led to the Aztecs’ best scoring opportunity. After the Bruin miscue, Hannah Keane had a clean look from 25 yards out with 1:30 left before the half and fired a laser. Her shot, however, ricocheted off the upper left V and SDSU went into the intermission down by two goals.
UCLA made it a three-goal game in the 53rd minute when Darian Jenkins found an open Kodi Lavrusky. The midfielder then calmly lofted a shot from the left side that found the upper right corner of the cage.
San Diego State nearly dented the scoreboard again, but found itself on the unlucky side of lucky-unlucky in the 69th minute. All-Mountain West first-team selection Victoria Barba took a corner kick from the far side and nearly bended it into the goal, but UCLA goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland got a hand on it to push it away to erase the Aztec threat.
In the final 20 minutes, SDSU managed to string together some offensive possessions that resulted in scoring chances, but none were successful. With 43 seconds remaining in the game, Keane, the Mountain West tournament MVP, put a low liner to the left side that required Rowland to make a diving save and that would be the final Aztec opportunity as UCLA emerged with the win.
The defeat puts an end to a great season that saw San Diego State rebound from a 1-4-2 start to finish on a 12-2 tear that resulted in its second straight Mountain West regular-season and tournament championship. By accomplishing the back-to-back feat, the Aztecs became just the second team in MW history to win both titles two years in a row. SDSU also finished with a school-record-matching 34 victories over the last two campaigns.