UCLA downs USC to win Pac-12 Soccer Championship


UCLA defeated crosstown rivals USC 3-1 to clinch the team’s second straight Pac-12 Women’s Soccer Championship Friday night.

Heading into the matchup, the Trojans sat two points above the Bruins in the conference standings, needing a tie to lock up the conference title. UCLA, in need of a win, played with a sense of urgency from the opening whistle.

Sophomore Reilyn Turner opened up scoring for the Bruins early, slotting in a deflected shot from close range to put UCLA up 1-0 in the 18th minute.

Olivia Athens then doubled UCLA’s lead in the 23rd minute, back-heeling a bouncing ball in the box to beat her defender and toe-poke a shot past the USC keeper.

USC attempted to blunt UCLA’s momentum in the second half, with Penelope Hocking converting a penalty kick to cut the Bruins’ lead to one in the 78th minute.

The Trojan’s late-game surge, however, was dampened when UCLA responded just five minutes later. Marley Canales added her name to the Bruins’ tally, tucking in a shot off a UCLA corner for an Olimpico and a 3-1 scoreline.

The win over USC secures UCLA the Pac-12 trophy for the second year in a row. Both teams now await their draw for the NCAA Tournament, which will be announced on the NCAA Women’s Soccer Selection Show at 1:30 p.m. ET on Monday, streaming on NCAA.com.