No. 7 BYU Soccer Secures Historic Win Over No. 1 UCLA

Aug 31, 2023, 10:38 PM | Updated: Sep 5, 2023, 6:57 pm

PROVO, Utah – Entering Thursday night, BYU soccer was 0-5 all-time against No. 1 ranked teams.

After 90 minutes of action in front of a standing-room-only crowd at South Field, BYU has a victory in that all-time win column.

No. 7 BYU soccer took down No. 1 and defending National Champion UCLA, 3-1, in front of a crowd of 5,209 fans.

The win keeps BYU undefeated with a perfect 5-0 record. UCLA falls to 4-1 on the season.

BYU improves its all-time as a ranked team at South Field to 138-20-17.

Former UCLA Bruin scored the first goal for BYU Soccer

The scoring started early for BYU against UCLA, coming from a former Bruin.

UCLA transfer and first-year BYU forward Ellie Walbruch came off the bench and scored a goal on a tap kick. The goal came in the 25th minute to give BYU some early momentum.

“I just knew that we need to get behind the back line and the first ball was over the backline,” said Walbruch on the ESPN+ postgame. “I just pressed and I was there and I knew it was going in.”

Then, in the 37th minute, another reserve off Jen Rockwood’s bench, Rachel McCarthy, scored a goal, giving BYU a commanding 2-0 lead. After that, the top-ranked Bruins were rattled.

UCLA entered the match, averaging ten shots on goal per match. On Thursday night, BYU held UCLA to only three. BYU finished with five shots on goal.

The Bruins scored a goal in the 55th minute from Reilyn Turner to cut BYU’s lead down to one. But then BYU sophomore Erin Bailey scored her second goal of the season in the 79th minute to put the game away for good and give BYU a historic victory.

BYU remains undefeated

“I’m just hyped,” Walbruch said. “I had a lot of work this summer and I just proved it today. It’s just a lot of emotions. I got a goal and an assist and I can’t ask for more. We got the win and we’re back. We’re gonna be back on Saturday and move forward.”

Head coach Jennifer Rockwood has led BYU’s women’s soccer program since 1995. It’s her first victory over a No. 1 team in her head coaching tenure.

“It’s a huge win for us. We have the utmost respect for UCLA and we knew it’d be a big game and proud of the way we played,” Rockwood said to ESPN+. “What an atmosphere, what a great night for women’s college soccer. Got so much from our starters and our bench. It was a big team effort, and really proud of the way we played.”

Next up for BYU is a road game down University Parkway on Saturday against UVU. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. on ESPN+ at Clyde Field in Orem.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X (Twitter) and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.

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No. 7 BYU Soccer Secures Historic Win Over No. 1 UCLA