After defending the home turf with dominant wins over Arizona State and Arizona, No. 9 Stanford women’s soccer (12-3-1, 6-1-1 Pac-12) takes on likely their hardest opponent of the season as they travel to Los Angeles to face No. 5 UCLA (13-0-3, 5-0-3 Pac-12). The reigning Pac-12 champions will push Stanford to the brink as they battle to stay in contention for the conference title.
The last time these two teams matched up, UCLA defeated Stanford 2-1 after a single overtime period. The Cardinal, however, have the historical advantage with a 12-9 all-time record against the Bruins.
Players to watch out for from UCLA include junior forward Mia Fishel, who has 11 goals so far this season and three assists, as well as sophomore forward Reilyn Turner, who currently has nine goals. Leading the team in assists, however, are redshirt junior midfielder Madelyn Desiano with nine assists and freshman defender Quincy MacMahon, who has totaled seven.
Based on the statistics, Stanford needs to be wary of Fishel and Turner as target forwards. Keeping the duo silent and preventing through-balls, either directly or over the top, could be the key to coming out with a win.
On the offensive side for the Cardinal, players such as junior midfielder Maya Doms and senior forward Abby Greubel will be expected to produce opportunities consistently.
The Cardinal will take on the Bruins at 7 p.m. PT on Thursday. The match can be streamed on the Pac-12 Network.