After making it to the NCAA sweet sixteen, No. 4 San Diego State University lost its opportunity at the final four when it was shutout 3-0 on Sunday against No. 6 University of California Los Angeles. The loss was disappointing because of the team’s success this season and its 14-game winning streak and 15-match unbeaten streak.
The Aztecs didn’t look sharp in the opening minutes and found themselves in a hole when UCLA’s senior forward Zakiya Bywaters scored the Bruins’ first goal in the 7th minute of the game with assistance from sophomore forward Rosie White.
Shortly after, Bywaters scored again in the 13th minute, putting SDSU down 2-0 early in the game. Sophomore midfielder Sarah Killion was credited with the assist. SDSU played sluggish in the opening minutes, failing to connect key passes to get anywhere near the UCLA net. The Bruins outshot the Aztecs 9-4 in the first half and SDSU went into the locker room at halftime with a score of 2-0.
In the second half, the Aztecs continued to struggle by allowing UCLA to shoot from all across the field. Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Rachel Boaz had to make two big saves in the 50th minute to keep the Aztecs in the game.
The Aztecs showed their frustration when sophomore forward Hannah Keane was given a yellow card five minutes into the half.
UCLA passed the ball around the SDSU defense and put the game out of reach when junior midfielder Chelsea Braun scored the third goal for the Bruins in the 65th minute with assistance from sophomore midfielder Caprice Dydasco.
The Aztecs season finished 25 minutes later when the referee blew the final whistle. UCLA outshot SDSU 8-6 in the second half. Senior Forward Megan Jurado lead the team with two shots on goal and Boaz had a total of two saves.
“Beyond expectations, what really separated this team from a lot of the other teams in the country is the character. What the seniors can be proud of is that they left a legacy. They created a culture in our program that we think will carry us forward to even better seasons in the future,” SDSU head coach Mike Friesen said.
This was the best season the program has ever seen and to show their support of the team, fans gave a standing ovation after the game. The season may be complete, but the women’s soccer program is set for great seasons in the future.