Provo, UT –
In front of a sold out of 5, 209, No. 7 BYU Women’s Soccer defeated No. 1 and defending National Champions UCLA (4-1) on Saturday evening at South Field in Provo, UT
BYU (5-0) would earn its first-ever victory over a No. 1 ranked team.
In game where a teams starters can be a game changer, that wouldn’t be the case for the Cougars as all three goals would come off the bench and from underclassmen
The Cougars would strike first to take a 1-0 lead in the 25th minute off the foot of Ellie Walbruch. The sophomore from Highland, UT took less than 45 seconds making her presence known after entering the game. Walbruch would chip her first shot on goal over her former teammate and Bruins goalkeeper Neeku Percell.
BYU added Walbruch to the 2023 roster via the transfer portal this past off season.
Walbruch doesn’t just score goals, she also sets up her teammates. Rachel McCarthy’s goal would come in the 37th minute and would give the Cougars a 2-0 lead going into half time.
Walbruch found McCarthy in stride down the middle just outside the 18-yard box. McCarthy wouldn’t hesitate taking the first shot off her foot curving into the top left of the goal.
The Bruins being the No. 1 ranked team this season wouldn’t go away regardless of what the score was at half time. UCLA has one of the best defending back lines in the country and it finally showed in the 55th minute as defender Ayo Oke blocked a shot from BYU defender Kendall Peterson inside their own end.
Oke would then cross the ball to Reilyn Turner who slipped her shot past Savanna Mason cutting BYU’s lead in half. The momentum would stay in favor of the Bruins forcing BYU to play out of its own end.
With UCLA looking for an equaliser, BYU would find their third goal of the night again from another player off the bench and this it was Erin Bailey.
BYU would have a counter attack in the 79th minute and Olivia Katoa sent a through ball to Bailey, who was not picked up by the UCLA backline and was alone with the goalkeeper and didn’t miss.
The crowd would erupt and this took all hope from the current No.1 in the country and would hand them their first loss of the season.
BYU remains undefeated on the season and will now take on in state for Utah Valley Saturday September 2nd at Clyde Field in Orem, UT. Kick-off is scheduled for 7pm MDT. The game will be streamed on ESPN+