CARY, NC — The UCLA women’s soccer team advanced to the College Cup Finals for the sixth time in program history after beating Alabama 3-0 in a No. 1 bout at WakeMed Soccer Park on Friday night.
The Bruins (21-2-1) now face North Carolina in the title game scheduled for Monday at 3:00 p.m. PT (6:00 p.m. ET). UNC advanced to the finals after beating Florida State 3-2 in the semifinals.
Second left-back Quincy McMahon led the Bruins on Friday, capturing junior forward Reilyn Turner in the 30th minuteth minute and added an own goal in the second half. Right-back Madelyn Desiano scored just 66 seconds after McMahon to complete the game’s goal.
Goaltender Lauren Brzykcy stopped all seven shots on goal she faced en route to her ninth solo shutout of the season.
UCLA will appear in the College Cup Finals for the first time since 2017. It is the second time the Bruins and Tar Heels have faced each other for a national championship. UCLA had previously defeated North Carolina 2-1 at Chapel Hill on September 4 of that season.
Turner opened the game’s shot on goal in the 30th minuteth minute with a deft rerouting of a McMahon pass. Setting up the game, McMahon approached the box from the top left corner, dribbled to the end line and pulled a trio of defenders towards her before finding a seam and sneaking a cross to Turner in the six-yard box. Turner tapped it in with a left foot shot to make her 10th the goal of the year.
Turner’s score was a big swing for the Bruins, as Alabama (23-3-1) had scored with a header just three minutes earlier that was eventually called offside. UCLA’s first Class A chance of the first half came from second forward Lexi Wright, who was played into a 1-on-1 with the keeper but brushed aside two narrow chances from Alabama’s McKinkley Crone.
UCLA came out after the half-time break, dominating possession and creating a number of dangerous scoring chances within the first 10 minutes of the second verse.
Graduated midfielder Maricarmen Reyes set up the first look and found Turner with a brilliantly placed pass to create a breakaway that was stopped by Crone in the 49th.
However, the Bruins did not resist and scored twice in the next five minutes.
McMahon scored the first of those goals in the 52nd minutend, won a 50-50 ball in the top corner of the box before dribbles sideways and takes a shot from the edge of the 18 just below the penalty arc. Her drive took a deflection from an Alabama defender and curled up just inside the far post at ground level. The unassisted goal gave her her first three-point game of her career.
A brilliant solo effort from Desiano just over a minute later put the game on hold. Desiano chased a loose ball in midfield and went for goal on the right side of the field. She sliced inside as she hit 18 and uncorked a left-footed shot from just inside 18 that went past the Alabama goaltender and hit the top left corner of the net. It was the second career goal for Desiano, who was making her debut in the College Cup after missing the 2019 tournament through injury.
With a three-goal lead, the Bruins were able to hold off the Crimson Tide the rest of the way. Alabama’s best chance to score in the last half-hour came from a late series of shots in the last minute of the game that cost Brzycky two saves.
For the game, UCLA overtook Alabama by a 20-11 lead. The Bruins put 11 tries on the frame compared to just seven for the Crimson Tide. Alabama played its first ever College Cup game.