(Photo: Nicole Neri /WCSN)
In front of a packed house at Drake Stadium, the No. 11 UCLA Bruins defeated the Arizona State Sun Devils 2-0, for their fourth consecutive win.
UCLA overwhelmed the Sun Devils right out of the gate, as freshman forward Jessie Fleming found the back of the net twice in the first nine minutes. Those goals put Fleming’s season total to seven, making her the leading scorer in the Pac-12.
The Bruins continued to bring the heat, notching another five shots on goal in the remaining 35 minutes of the half. ASU freshman goalie Emma Malsy faced more shots on net in the first half than she has in any start this season.
Arizona State did not manage to get a shot in the first half. In fact, they didn’t get a scoring chance until the 41st minute, when Larisa Staub just missed a cross right in front of the net.
In the second half, Jazmarie Mader notched ASU’s first shot on net with a header in the 56th minute.
From there, the Sun Devils picked up the pace, with another five shots in the next 20 minutes. The highlight was a Natalie Stephens header off the top left post in the 71st minute that came off a corner kick.
Ultimately, Arizona State outshot UCLA 13-12 in the game, and 5-1 on net in the second half. However, ASU’s second half surge was not enough to overcome the hole UCLA dug them into in the first half, resulting in a loss in the Pac-12 opener.
Arizona State will return home next Thursday at 4:30 p.m., where they will host the University of Utah.