(Photo by BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)
LOS ANGELES — Nadia Gomes led a first-half offensive outburst for the BYU women’s soccer team in a 2-2 tie against UCLA to conclude exhibition play Saturday night at North Athletic Field.
The Cougars and the Bruins scored two goals a piece within the first 25 minutes of the game.
“I think we got what we wanted out of this exhibition game against a very quality opponent with some talented players,” BYU head coach Jennifer Rockwood said. “This is information we can take back this next week and learn from and get better. I’m really pleased with a lot of things that we saw out there.”
UCLA capitalized on a loose ball in the penalty box early in the game as Annie Alvarado knocked it in the back of the net to put the Bruins up 1-0 in the seventh minute.
Gomes responded with an equalizer in the 18th minute. Gomes received a long ball before beating two UCLA players and then sending an 18-yard shot to the right corner of the goal.
In the 23rd minute, Gomes scored again to put the Cougars up 2-1. She took a shot but Bruin goalkeeper Siri Ervik deflected it right back to her. Gomes quickly took a second shot and connected with the back of the net.
Two minutes later, UCLA tied the game 2-2. Two Bruins went for the ball at the same time and in the confusion, UCLA chipped a shot up past the fingers of BYU goalkeeper Rachel Boaz in the 25th minute.
“The girls’ nerves caught us off guard in the first 15, 20 minutes and then settled down after we gave up a crazy goal,” Rockwood said.
The score remained 2-2 throughout the second half and ended in a draw. Gomes and senior forward Ashley Hatch had opportunities to score for the Cougars, but their shots sailed wide or above the crossbar.
BYU outshot UCLA 11-7 while conceding six corners. Of the Cougars’ six shots on goal, Bruin keepers made four saves.
True freshmen Danika Bowman, Lizzy Braby, Elise Flake and Brynlee Welch saw significant playing time in the exhibition. Bowman started the game while the latter three subbed into the game, earning double-digit minutes.
“I’m super impressed with our freshmen and the minutes they gave us,” Rockwood said. “Danika played the full 90 minutes. For them to come in a game like this and give us some quality minutes, it’s a great step forward.”
BYU opens up the 2016 season against Washington State Friday, Aug. 19 at 7 p.m. PDT at Lower Soccer Field. The game will be televised on the Pac-12 Network while audio broadcasts will be available on the Cougar IMG Network, BYU Radio and ESPN 960 AM. Links to the audio can be found on the schedule page.